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Competition Policy

Hearing Officers' mission - main tasks

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.