Information exchange

Council Regulation (EC) No1/2003 allows for the members of the European Competition Network, that consists of the competition authorities of the Member States and the European Commission, to exchange, and use in evidence, information and data collected in their proceedings. This possibility applies to confidential information too. At the same time, information exchange is subject to the observance of certain guarantee rules; such rules are e.g. that

  • the information obtained in information exchange may be used by the competition authorities only for the application of Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty and, where the national competition authority also applies its national competition law in the case, for the parallel application of the latter, provided that this application does not lead to a different outcome;

  • the information may only be used, where it is used by the receiving authority to impose sanctions on undertakings, for the purpose for which it was collected;

  • the information may only be used, where it is used by the receiving authority to impose sanctions on natural persons subject to the law of the transmitting authority foreseeing sanctions of a similar kind in relation to an infringement of Article 81 or Article 82 of the Treaty or, should this not be the case, subject to the information having been collected in a way which respects the same level of protection of the rights of defence of natural persons as provided for under the national rules of the receiving authority;

  • there are special rules regarding the transmission of information acquired with the application of the leniency policy.