The main tasks of the Hearing Officer in antitrust and merger proceedings are the following:
- to organize and conduct the oral hearings;
- to ensure the effective exercise of procedural rights throughout proceedings including commitments and cartel settlement procedures;
- to ensure the respect of the right to be heard;
- to deal with specific issues raised during the investigative phase of Commission proceedings, including claims for legal professional privilege, the privilege against self-incrimination, deadlines for replying to decisions requiring information and the right of undertakings and associations of undertakings to be informed of their procedural status;
- to ensure that the right to access the file and the undertakings' legitimate interests in confidentiality are respected;
- to report on the outcome of the hearing and on the respect for the effective exercise of procedural rights; and
- to present, where appropriate, observations to the Competition Commissioner on any matter arising out of individual competition proceedings.