Hearing officer

Hearing Officer

Information to be provided to the Hearing Officer

When the SO is issued, the case team needs to provide the Hearing Officer secretariat with the following information: – the names and positions of the persons representing the companies concerned and/or their legal advisers (with their powers of attorney) and their complete addresses, fax numbers and e-mail addresses; – languages of the procedure, participation or not by ESA and estimated number of participants (for booking meeting room); – electronic versions of the SO in the available languages and replies, as soon as available (the Hearing Officer secretariat will transmit to the interpreters) ; – a copy of the DVD sent to the parties for access to file, as well as any access to corporate statements at DG Competition's premises at their request.

More about Hearing Officer

The case-team should double-check carefully the material prepared for the hearing in order to avoid any inadvertent disclosure of information covered by professional secrecy (note that the confidential version of all documents should however be made accessible to the Hearing Officer).


See Also


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

Further Reading

  • Information about Hearing Officer in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

Hearing officer in the European Union Law

Concept of Hearing officer provided by the “Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy” (Antitrust and control of concentrations, published in 2002): An independent senior official who is charged with organising hearings and with ensuring that they are properly conducted. The hearing officer thus contributes to the objectivity of the hearing itself, the observance of due process, the respect of the parties' rights of defence and the objectivity of any decision taken subsequently. The tasks of the hearing officer also include resolving disputes between the Commission services and the parties concerned about the confi-dentiality of documents and access to the file which one or more of the parties claim in order to prepare their defence. The hearing officer reports to the Commissioner with special responsibility for competi-tion; his final report on a competition case is attached to the decision and published in the Official Journal. The terms of reference of the hearing officer are laid down in a Commission decision.

(See: Commission decision of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of hearing officers in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21); as regards the respect of fundamental rights, especially the right to be heard and the right of access to the file, in the context of the Commission's enforcement action in competition matters, see also Articles 41 and 48 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (OJ C 80, 10.3.2001, p. 1).)

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