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Competition Policy

Electronic Submissions in Antitrust and Cartel Proceedings

How to submit electronic documents to the Commission in Antitrust and Cartel proceedings

File Format and Naming of Annexes and Exhibits

  1. Electronic submissions must be in a readable, non-corrupted, and non-restricted format (no special electronics should be activated).  It should be possible to perform optical character recognition (OCR), to machine search, to print and to cut-and-paste.
  2. Newly created documents (referred to as ‘Annexes’) must be submitted in PDF machine searchable format. Spreadsheets must be submitted in MS-Excel or Open Office.
  3. Pre-existing documents - referred to as ‘Exhibits’ (documents that are not specially created for the purposes of the antitrust proceedings at hand) must be submitted in their native format, preserving and including the original metadata. The Commission accepts all common office automation file formats: Acrobat Reader, MS Office and Open Office. The recommended e-mail formats are .msg and .eml (Outlook .pst or Lotus Notes .nsf file formats must be avoided. They should be converted into single e-mail formats). Images (scanned documents or other images containing text) should be provided in PDF machine-searchable format. these pre-existing files submitted electronically must be an accurate copy of the original document and they must not be converted into PDF for the purposes of the submission. A declaration that a file submitted electronically is a true and complete copy of the original document and that shows the chain of custody of the document may always requested at any stage in the proceeding.
  4. Annexes and Exhibits must be clearly identified, preferably by means of the prefix ANNEX or EXHIBIT and by use of continuous numbering throughout subsequent submissions (e.g.:"Annex 023-Original filename.pdf"; "Exhibit 003-Original filename.msg"). The numbering of Annexes should be independent from the numbering of the Exhibits
  5. It is recommended to submit translations in a language of the proceeding if the pre-existing documents (Exhibits) are in a non-EU language or in none of the procedural languages.Translations, if any, must be clearly separated from the document in the original language and identified by means of the prefix TR. (e.g.: "TR-Exhibit 003-Original filename.pdf/docx"


  1. E-mails sent to DG Competition should not exceed 15MB. In eTrustEx and eLeniency, individual files must not exceed 100MB and any submission must not exceed 1450 individual files in eTrustEx (respectively 1500 files in eLeniency) and the total maximum size of 4GB in eTrustEx (respectively 4.95 GB in eLeniency). In the Anonymous Whistleblower Tool, the size restriction is 25 MB with a maximum of 10 individual files. 
  2. Larger submissions can be split into several smaller subsequent submissions. alternatively, documents may also be put on external digital devices, such as USB sticks, CDs or DVDs, and sent to DG Competition via post. Floppy disks, magnetic tapes and FTP/cloud servers are not accepted.
  3. Files must be virus-free (sanitised with an antivirus before submission to avoid any malware or other malicious software).
  4. Do not submit any files that are encrypted, password-protected or restricted.(Non-restricted = macro-free, without embedded files and without any special electronic security settings activated.) Do not submit executable files, archives (e.g. .zip files or other types of file container) or files containing macros.Avoid any form of embedded files.14.Do not artificially join files together. For instance, do not combine multiple files in one single PDF or container. Where the pre-existing electronic files are in a container, only the relevant files in that container are to be submitted. If it is not possible to submit any form other than a container, the size of the container should not exceed 500MB