Inside knowledge and assistance can be a powerful tool to help the European Commission uncover inter alia cartels and other anti-competitive practices more swiftly than might otherwise be possible. Since cartels often operate in secrecy, individuals or companies with inside or market knowledge can play a crucial role in bringing issues to our attention or gathering information that would allow us to start an investigation. They can also contribute to the success of our investigations in other areas of competition enforcement, i.e. antitrust, merger and state aid control.
Whistleblowers and informants can be both individuals (e.g. employees or industry insiders) and companies that suspect that their employers, suppliers, customers or competitors are engaged in a cartel. Companies that have themselves been involved in a cartel should instead report and cooperate under the leniency programme.
If you suspect that price developments, supply conditions or a reluctance to offer services or products to your company could be due to an underlying illegal collusion; do not hesitate to speak to us.
You can help us detect behaviour that could breach EU competition rules, such as price coordination or bid rigging, attempts to unfairly exclude rivals, gun jumping in merger cases or unlawful state aid. Such practices cause immense damage to the EU’s economy. They may also hold back innovation, put companies out of business and deny consumers access to a wide choice of goods and services at reasonable prices.
If you are aware of anti-competitive practices or potential breaches of the competition rules, you can help us investigate by voluntarily providing us with all relevant information. This information may be a report of the facts concerning the anti-competitive conduct, its circumstances and the individuals involved, notably when their role is not publicly known, but known to you. The information may concern past, ongoing or planned anti-competitive conduct.
How to provide information
We have a dedicated team in place to guide you through the process and answer any questions you might have.
- If you are willing to reveal your identity to us:
- send an e-mail to: comp-whistleblowerec [dot] europa [dot] eu (comp-whistleblower[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu) or
- call: 0032-2-29 74800 (monitored from 09:00 to 17:00 on working days).
- If you do not want to reveal your identity to us: . We have taken the following steps to protect your anonymity:
- We use an experienced and specialised external intermediary. The intermediary's state-of-the-art tool is designed to protect the anonymity of whistle-blowers. Similar tools are used by competition authorities in Germany, Denmark and other Member States.
- Once you enter your message into the intermediary's encryption tool, it will alert us.
- The tool allows a two-way communication with us so that we can ask you for additional information or clarification which will increase the likelihood that we can take action based on your information. The intermediary will give you a passcode to log into the intermediary's tool and see our response. The tool only delivers your message; it does not provide us with any additional information (such as your IP-address or the password you have chosen to retrieve our messages). If you have already sent us a message, click on the above hyperlink to check for a reply.
- If you are empowered to represent a company involved in a cartel: please apply for leniency to completely avoid fines for your company or obtain a reduction of fines.
If you identify yourself to us when you come forward (providing your name, position and contact details) and explain the source of your information, this will give your statement additional credibility and it is more likely that we will be able to take action as a result of your report. You can reveal your identity to us and still ask that it is kept protected towards others.
Whistleblowers who are current, former or future employees and have acquired information in a work-related context, are protected in the EU by DIRECTIVE (EU) 2019/1937 of 23 October 2019. You must not be punished or lose protection for reporting your concerns directly to the European Commission. You are also not obliged to first report internally within your company or to other authorities before reaching out to us.
Please note that the above-mentioned telephone number, e-mail address and anonymous reporting tool are reserved for whistleblowers (natural persons) and other informants (legal persons not involved in the suspected conduct themselves) and should serve to provide information concerning anti-competitive conduct only. Given the importance of these communication channels, other queries may therefore not be answered.
Please note: Other services in the European Commission have also made reporting tools available in their respective spheres of responsibility (e.g.: OLAF's tool for reporting fraud concerning the financial interests of the EU; DG FISMA's tool for EU sanctions violations).