By Kyriakos Fountoukakos & Camille Puech-Baron –
Imagine you are the lawyer advising a multinational company that was sanctioned by the European Commission for participating in a cartel. The Commission has prepared a lengthy decision with detailed information about the cartel, including your client’s business secrets. You identify the information as confidential and the Commission provisionally accepts your claims. Some years later, private damages claimants put pressure on the Commission to disclose documents relating to the cartel including the full, confidential version of the decision. Following a debate with the Commission services and an “appeal” to the Hearing Officer, the Commission rejects your confidentiality claims and decides to publish a non-confidential, version of the decision that discloses the information that your client considers to be confidential.
This paper looks at the test recently established by the EU Courts that companies have to meet to secure interim relief in such situations.