Electronic access to file

Electronic access to file

Electronic access to file via the CMA

The CMA enables automatic processing of the accessible file. – A functionality in the CMA allows automatic downloading of the accessible documents with original filenames masked in a compressed (zip) file; – This file can then be burned on a CD-ROM/DVD together with the Excel list, named “Access to file final table” and an explanatory note on how to use the CD-ROM/DVD.

More about Electronic access to file

The access to file should be prepared as follows: – The file, that is the electronic case file kept by the Registry, should be complete. Documents received directly by the case team should be immediately sent to the Registry for registration and insertion in the CMA. Also documents sent by the parties to or by the Chief Economist's team, the Hearing Office, the Deputy Director General or the Director General, as well as documents sent to a cabinet that are forwarded to DG Competition should be included in the file once they are forwarded to the case team or the Registry. – Names for internal and external parties are pre-defined in the integrated registration tool. The Registries are responsible of managing parties' names, stored in the integrated registration tool database common for all instruments. When registering a bundle, the Registry adds systematically the name of the sender as “correspondent” 1 and adds the name in the database, if not yet registered. This name is then copied automatically to the field entity of all documents contained in the bundle. The name of the “correspondent” is managed by the Registries, but the name of the “entity” 2 can be changed by the case team to suit the case file. The “entity” name would usually be the name of the company, rather than the law firm representing them, who sent the bundle. – A standardised naming convention for documents in the file should be used. This will allow the case team, but also the Registry and other colleagues searching for particular information to easily find this information in spite of the restrictions of the CMA. The list below gathers suggested naming conventions of documents. As a suggested rule, names of documents should be kept as simple as possible in order to avoid increasing workload for encoding data and keeping in mind that each document has already some information attached to it in the integrated registration tool (in/out, correspondent, category) which already gives indication on the content of the document.

More about the Subject

– For each document the “accessibility” field has to be completed (mark as “accessible” (“A”) or “non-accessible” (“NA”), “internal”, “EC premises” (for all corporate statements, written and oral) or by default “undefined” (see also the Definition of classification of documents (internal/accessible/non-accessible/EU premises).

Other Considerations

– For each non-accessible document (except for internal documents), an accessible version should be made available, or, if not possible, a succinct description should be provided. This indication should allow the parties to understand the nature of the document and enable them to put forward arguments as to why the document needs to be disclosed in spite of its confidential character.


– For each accessible document to be transmitted to the party an “Access to file” version is prepared and made available in the system, in PDF format and with pages numbered. – For “internal documents”, no description of the document is provided. The document is simply referred to as “internal document”. – For documents marked “EC premises”, no description of the document is provided. The document is simply referred to as “EC premises” and can be seen at the DG Competition premises (see further under 3.2.2).


– The index of documents is produced from the CMA in the form of an Excel file. The index for the parties contains the following information: ID (reference number of the document), type of accessibility, accessible version ID, description (at least for non-accessible documents for which no accessible version exists) and number of pages of the PDF document.


The index of documents is not an inventory of the documents in the file but aims at allowing parties to understand the correspondence between confidential and non-confidential versions of a document or, in the case of a completely non-accessible document, to give a short description, in order to enable them to assess whether it is appropriate to request access to particular documents which might be useful for their defence 3 .


See Also


  • Information about Electronic access to file in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)


[Note 1]
Displayed in “advanced” tab of the document in the CMA.
[Note 2]
Displayed in “main” tab of the document in the CMA.
[Note 3]
See Case C-110/10 P Solvay v Commission [1995] ECR II-1775, para. 66.

Further Reading

  • Information about Electronic access to file in “An Introduction to EU Competition Law”, Moritz Lorenz (Cambridge University Press)

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