Interview warnings

Interview warnings

Warnings at the beginning of the interview

Before the interview begins, the interviewer is obliged to draw the attention of the interviewee to the following issues (for example, by reading out the statement he is required to sign at the end of the interview): – the legal basis of the interview (Article 19 of Regulation 1/2003 and Article 3 of the Implementing Regulation); – the voluntary nature of the interview (consent of the interviewee required); – the purpose of the interview (i.e. collecting information relating to the subject matter of an investigation); – the possibility to record the interview and the intention to do so in the case at question.

More about Interview warnings

In addition, it is recommended to draw the attention of the interviewee to the facts that: – he/she is entitled to be accompanied by a lawyer; – at a later stage it might be necessary to grant access to file. For this purpose it is recommended to discuss with the interviewee (in particular when it is a natural person that makes a statement without the knowledge of its current or former employer) whether he would prefer – to the extent possible – to remain anonymous. – some questions might be of a self-incriminatory nature. In this case the interviewer should also explain the legal consequences of answering to these questions. In case of immunity applicants, it should in particular be pointed out that not answering the questions can affect the Commission's assessment of continued cooperation on the part of the applicant. As regards leniency applicants, it could be mentioned in a neutral manner that such replies can affect the final determination of the reduction within the granted reduction range. For other undertakings interviewed, it should be mentioned that replying to such questions (on behalf of the undertaking concerned) might justify reduction of a fine later imposed by the Commission, if the information provided assists the Commission in establishing an infringement (for which the undertaking could be held responsible). However, in any event it should be stated at the same time that there is no obligation whatsoever to answer such questions. – That the information obtained can be provided to national competition authorities under Article 12 of Regulation 1/2003 and used in evidence for the application of Article 101 and 102 TFEU, including for the purpose of imposing (pecuniary) sanctions on natural persons where the conditions of national law of the receiving authority are fulfilled.

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To certify that the interviewers have fulfilled the legal obligations, it is recommended to make the interviewee sign a statement which confirms this. The statement should be presented to the interviewee's signature at the end of the interview (see model for such a statement).


See Also


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

Further Reading

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

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