The General Court (”GC”) handed down it’s judgment dismissing in its entirety an appeal lodged by the Netherlands against a decision of the Commission rejecting access to the full version of its decision. The Commission’s decision dates back to September 2006 when the Commission imposed fines on 14 companies in the Dutch bitumen cartel. In 2007 the Commission published a non-confidential version of the decision following which the Netherlands, in 2008, requested access to the full version of the decision on the grounds that it was going to apply for damages and would therefore need to access to all details of the case. The Commission rejected the request. The Netherlands lodged an appeal to the GC, claiming that the Commission’s rejection decision was contrary to its right of access to documents under Regulation 1049/2001. The GC found, inter alia, that the published decision was enough for the Netherlands to understand the Commission’s reasoning in the cartel case and that there was no overriding public interest in the disclosure since the public interest in the Dutch road bitumen cartel was already satisfied by the adoption of the Commission’s contested decision. The GC also took into account the fact that at the time the request for access by the Netherlands was made, the appeal procedures lodged by the addressees of the Commission’s decision where still ongoing these were in fact only decided upon in 2012). The GC upheld the Commission’s decision in its entirety. Source: Case T-380/08 Netherlands v Commission