After the hearing, the Hearing Officer reports to the Commissioner on the hearing and the conclusions to be drawn with regard to the respect for the effective exercise of procedural rights up until that moment of the proceedings. This so-called interim report addresses procedural issues, such as disclosure of documents and access to the Commission's file, the observance of the right to be heard, the proper conduct of the oral hearing and time limits for replying to the statement of objections. In addition, and separately from the interim report, the Hearing Officer may submit to the Commissioner observations on substantive issues, in particular on the need for further investigation, the withdrawal of certain objections or the formulation of further objections. The Hearing Officer will also seek to ensure that due account is taken of all the relevant facts, whether favourable or unfavourable to the parties concerned.
The interim report and any further separate observations are internal documents used in the decision-making process. They are not accessible. They provide advice to the Commissioner from a fresh pair of eyes with special responsibility for procedural rights.
In the final report to the college of Commissioners, which is presented before the final decision is taken by the college, the Hearing Officer is required to attest whether the effective exercise of procedural rights has been respected during the administrative procedure and whether the Commission's draft decision deals only with objections in respect of which the parties have been afforded the opportunity of making known their views. All the draft decisions in the field of antitrust and merger control which are sent to the Advisory Committee before being submitted to the College of Commissioners must be accompanied by a draft version of the Hearing Officer’s final report.
This document is also sent to the parties and published in the Official Journal of the European Union when the final decision is taken.
Hearing Officer – final reports
This list contains antitrust and merger cases where the Hearing Officer has issued a final report.
When the list is displayed, you can:
- Sort the results by policy area, case number, date of the last Commission decision, or title.
- See the complete case file, including the final report of the Hearing Officer as well as other case-related documents (Commission decision(s), press release(s), etc.), click on "show details" to see this information in the same screen. Alternatively, to open a case file in a new window, click on the case number.
- Print the list
- Export the list to an Excel file
- Make a new search in the case search tool.
Unfortunately due to the nature of this list, it is not possible to refine the search by adding new criteria. It is nevertheless possible to run a search for antitrust cases where there has been a Hearing Officer report, and add additional search criteria as follows:
- Go to the start page of the search tool by clicking on "Make a new search"
- On the "policy area" click on "Antitrust / Cartels" or just in "Cartels" depending on your preferences.
- The advanced search form opens. Under "Document type", select "Report of the Hearing Officer".
- Add any additional criteria you may wish to use to restrict the search (date of decision, legal basis, sector, ...)
- To run the search, click on the "Search" button at the bottom of the form.
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