On 14 November 2012, the European Union's General Court clarified the extent of the European Commission's investigative powers when conducting dawn raids for suspected anticompetitive activities. In its judgments, the General Court sent a clear message that dawn raids may not be used as fishing expeditions. In cases T-135/09 Nexans v Commission and T-140/09 Prysmian v Commission (not yet available in English), the Court held that an inspection decision must precisely delimit the products concerned in a dawn raid and that the European Commission must have reasonable grounds to launch inspections in relation to the products listed in the inspection decision. In Nexans v Commission and Prysmian v Commission, the European Commission had launched investigations into "the supply of electric cables and material associated with such supply, including, amongst others, high voltage underwater electric cables, and, in certain cases, high voltage underground electric cables." However, the Court found that, based on the actual evidence the European Commission had at its disposal when it took the inspection decisions, there were reasonable grounds only for launching investigations into high voltage underwater and underground electric cables and material associated with those cables, not for all electric cables. On this basis, the Court annulled the European Commission's inspection decisions.
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