On 16 September 2011, Joaquín Almunia delivered a speech on recent developments in merger and antitrust control. He highlighted the fact that in future a statement of objections issued by the Commission will include information on the parameters which will be used to calculate any fines imposed on a party. This will allow the parties to make any arguments relevant to the level of a fine before the Commission reaches its decision. In addition, hearing officers will be granted a role in resolving disputes when legal-privilege issues arise during investigations. As well as revising its best practices for antitrust proceedings, the Commission plans to defend its leniency programme and those of its ECN partners in light of the Pfleiderer ruling which allowed disclosure of leniency-related documents. Joaquín Almunia’s speech also focussed on two key market developments, namely the fast pace of technological change and the increasing integration of production and supply chains on a global scale. Read more.