Decision requiring information principles

Decision requiring information principles

General principles and content

Pursuant to Article 18(3) of Reg. 1/2003, the Commission can directly adopt a decision requiring the information to be supplied by companies located in the EEA. It is not necessary to send a request for information according to Art 18 (2) before proceeding to the adoption of a decision according to Article 18 (3).

More about Decision requiring information principles

Requests for information by decision must be reasoned like any other act of the European Union (Article 296 TFEU). Lack of reasoning may lead to the decision being annulled on the basis of a challenge pursuant to Article 263 TFEU. The reasoning may however be very concise.

More about the Subject

The decision must: – state the legal basis and the purpose of the request; – specify what information is needed; – fix the day by which the requested information has to be provided; – indicate the possibility of imposing fines according to Article 23(1)(b) if the addressee supplies incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or does not supply information within the required time-limit; – indicate or impose the penalties provided for in Article 24(1)(d) if they supply incomplete or incorrect information; – indicate the right to have the decision reviewed by the General Court according to Article 263 TFEU and warn that such appeal does not have suspensive effect unless expressly accorded by the General Court (Article 278 TFEU).

Other Considerations

The decision takes effect upon its notification to the undertaking (Article 297 of the Treaty).


In the context of decisions requiring information, addressees will be reminded of the privilege against providing self-incriminating information (see further below) and that if the behaviour under investigation is confirmed to have taken place this might constitute an infringement of Articles 101 and/or 102 TFEU. 1


The decision requiring information is addressed to the undertaking(s) concerned and follows the same rule of language as for the letter requesting information (Article 18(2) – see above 2.3). Note that if a language waiver has been given, it should be expressed in the decision itself, such as “The Commission notes that [ADDRESSEE] accepts that the decision be adopted in the [chosen language]”.


Similar to simple requests for information, the owners of the undertakings or their representatives and, in the case of legal persons, companies or firms, or associations having no legal personality, the persons authorised to represent them by law or by their constitution must supply the information requested on behalf of the undertaking or the association of undertakings concerned. Lawyers duly authorised to act may supply the information on behalf of their clients. The latter must remain fully responsible if the information supplied is incomplete, incorrect or misleading.


Where the addressee of a decision requesting information pursuant to Article 18(3) Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 is unable to resolve its concerns about the time limit through the procedure outlined above, it may refer the matter to the Hearing Officer. Such a request should be made in due time before the expiry of the original time limit set 2 . The Hearing Officer decides on whether an extension of the time limit should be granted, taking account of the length and complexity of the request for information and the requirements of the investigation.


Fines may be imposed according to Article 23(1)(b) by decision on undertakings and associations of undertakings where, intentionally or negligently in response to a request made by decision adopted pursuant to Article 18(3), they supply incorrect, incomplete or misleading information or do not supply information within the required time-limit. Fines according to Article 23(1)(b) can be combined with periodic penalty payments under Article 24 (1)(d).


If a decision pursuant to Article 18(3) is combined with a decision setting (the provisional amount of) periodic penalty payments pursuant to Article 24(1)(d), the Article 18 (3) decision will specify the provisional level of the daily penalty payments (up to 5% of the average daily turnover in the preceding business year). The final amount of the penalty will then be fixed in a second decision pursuant to Article 24(2) (see below and Module on Periodic penalty payments) based on the level of penalty payments per day fixed in the preceding Art 18 (3) decision. However, if the information has been provided, the Commission may calculate the penalty payment on the basis of a lower amount as fixed in the preceding Article 18 (3) decision (cf. Article 24 (2)).


See Also


  • Information about Decision requiring information principles in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)


[Note 1]
See Case T-99/04, AC Treuhand v Commission [2008] ECR II-1501, pt. 56-57.
[Note 2]
Article 4(2)(c) of the terms of reference of the Hearing Officer and Notice on Antitrust Best Practices, para. 40.

Further Reading

  • Information about Decision requiring information principles in “An Introduction to EU Competition Law”, Moritz Lorenz (Cambridge University Press)

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