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Antitrust

Actions for Damages > Disclosure of Evidence

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Commission adopts amendments to Regulation 773/2004 and four related Notices

On 3 August 2015, the European Commission adopted amendments to Regulation 773/2004 and four related Notices (Access to the File, Leniency, Settlements, Cooperation with National Courts), aimed at aligning them with Directive 2014/104/EU on Antitrust Damages Actions.

The Directive was adopted at the end of 2014 by the European Parliament and the Council, based on a Commission proposal. Member States have to implement the Directive by 27 December 2016. The Directive has two objectives: to ensure that victims of antitrust violations can effectively claim damages (through actions before national courts, or out of court); and to optimise the interrelation between such private actions and public enforcement by the Commission and national competition authorities. To achieve the second objective, the Directive, amongst other things, prohibits the use of leniency corporate statements and settlement submissions before national courts and limits the use of documents created specifically for the purpose of a competition authority's investigation until after the investigation is closed.

In order to ensure an effective protection of these documents in Commission investigations, the Commission adapted the provisions in Regulation 773/2004 and the four Notices concerning the disclosure and use of information in the Commission's investigative file to the Directive's rules on disclosure and use of information obtained from competition authorities in antitrust damages actions. Furthermore, basic concepts of the Commission's leniency and settlement programmes are introduced into hard law, i.e. Regulation 773/2004. Finally, the Notice on Access to the File determines that documents from the file unrelated to the investigation can be returned to the parties.

The adopted amendments can be found here:

Public consultation on the proposed modifications took place earlier this year. Full texts of the proposed modifications as well as further information on the public consultation and stakeholders' replies can be found here.

  
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