Approval of the Preliminary Assessment

Approval of the Preliminary Assessment

Approval of the Preliminary Assessment

The approval of the Preliminary Assessment constitutes a Commission act adopted by empowerment by the Commissioner for competition.

More about Approval of the Preliminary Assessment

The Commissioner therefore needs to give his/her approval to adopt the Preliminary Assessment and to engage in formal commitment discussions with the parties.

More about the Subject

The note seeking approval of the Preliminary Assessment should not only describe the previous informal commitment discussions and the commitments offered (informally) by the parties, but also specify the main elements required to meet the competition problems identified and outline which issues are still in discussion with the parties.

Other Considerations

If proceedings have not been initiated before, the adoption of the Preliminary Assessment should be combined with the initiation of the proceedings.


After receiving the Preliminary Assessment, the undertaking under investigation has – in contrast to an Article 7 decision – no right to request a hearing pursuant to Article 12. Neither Regulation 1/2003 nor Regulation 773/2004 expressly provide for access to file in the context of Article 9 proceedings.


For complainants the issuing of a Preliminary Assessment does not trigger any special procedural rights either. The complainant has no right to a hearing or to receive a (non-confidential) copy of the Preliminary Assessment or to have access to information. The complainant is in a similar position to any other undertaking which is informed when the public market test takes place. The sole purpose of the Preliminary Assessment is to inform the undertaking under investigation formally of the competition concerns. It will not be published and not be made available to third parties.


However, it may – in specific cases – be advisable to inform the complainant about the main content of the Preliminary Assessment. The case team could in particular make use of this possibility if it can be expected that the complainant is able to provide important input for the subsequent discussions on the exact scope of the commitments. This advantage needs to be balanced against the risk that the commitment discussions are undermined by providing this information; third parties should also not be discriminated by providing information on the content of the Preliminary Assessment beyond what is summarised in the market test.


Prior to the issuing of the Preliminary Assessment, the parties will be offered an additional State of Play meeting.


See Also


  • Information about Approval of the Preliminary Assessment in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)

Further Reading

  • Information about Approval of the Preliminary Assessment in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

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