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Competition Policy

Procedures in Article 101 Investigations

How a case starts

Article 101 cases can originate via:

  1. A leniency application
  2. A complaint
  3. A report by an individual via the "Whistleblower" tool
  4. Opening an ex officio investigation
  5. Opening a sector inquiry


The Commission's investigative powers to enforce Article 101 are detailed in Chapter V of Regulation 1/2003

Inspections: Article 20

Requests for information: Article 18

Statement of objections

The Statement of Objections (SO) details the Commission's competition concerns.  It is sent to the parties concerned.  The parties are entitled to see the Commission's investigative file and to an oral hearing conducted by an independent Hearing Officer.

Access to File

Access to the Commission's file takes place normally shortly after the Statement of Objections is issued. 


A "Prohibition Decision" based on Article 7 of Regulation 1/2003 formally finds an infringement against the concerned parties.  The Commission may require the parties concerned to stop the infringement, impose remedies and/or impose a fine.

A "Commitment Decision" based on Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003 allows companies to offer commitments that are intended to address the competition concerns identified by the Commission. The commitment decision makes the commitments binding on the parties without establishing an infringement. Acceptance of the commitments is at the discretion of the Commission

Publications of decisions

Final public versions of Decisions are published on DG COMP's website along with a summary of the Decision summary, the final report of the Hearing Officer, and the opinion of the Advisory Committee in the Official Journal.


A company that has participated in an anti-competitive agreement and therefore infringed competition law may have to pay a fine.  the Commission's fining policy is aimed at punishment and deterrence.  They are calculated under the framework of the 2006 Guidelines on Fines.  More information on fines can be found here.

Judicial review

In accordance with Article 263 TFEU, the decisions adopted by the Commission are subject to legal review by the Court of Justice of the European Union, namely the General Court (formerly the Court of First Instance) and the Court of Justice.