Requests for opinions relating to DG Competition

Requests for opinions relating to DG Competition

How are the requests for an opinion dealt with in DG Competition?

a) Registration and allocation to competent unit

More about Requests for opinions relating to DG Competition

Requests arrive electronically (preferably via the dedicated functional mailbox COMP-AMICUS) or via traditional mail at the registry. If someone else in DG Competition receives a request from a national court, it should be passed on immediately to the registry for registration.

More about the Subject

The registry assigns the request upon receipt to the competent sectoral unit as chef de file (with copy to Unit A1 for info) where the request concerns a sector-specific information. Unit A1 is put in copy. A1 is chef de file for non-sector specific requests.

Other Considerations

If necessary, the competent unit will ask for the translation of the request for information.


b) Information covered by professional secrecy

If the information that is requested is possibly covered by professional secrecy, the competent unit will ask the national court whether it can and will guarantee protection of that information (see point (11) for the consequences of the court's reply.)


In order to inform the national court about which parts of the transmitted information cannot be publicly disclosed (in case the national court has given a confidentiality guarantee) or in order to make a non-confidential version of the requested information (in case the national court has not given a confidentiality guarantee), the competent unit should examine which (parts of the) documents are covered by professional secrecy. It may be necessary to consult the legal or natural person or authority from whom the information originates to determine whether or not the information is (still) covered by professional secrecy at the moment of transmission or if they have other grounds to oppose disclosure. In case of disagreement with the disclosure of the requested information (or the arrangements for the protection of its confidentiality), the AKZO-procedure would apply (see Module on Access to the file).


c) Consultation, translation and sending


The unit chef de file consults Unit A1 on the draft letter. The unit that is chef de file should consult the Legal Service (“LS”), e.g. where the transmission of the information could raise a significant legal issue. The LS must have at least 5 working days to give its opinion.


The letter accompanying the transmission of the requested information is signed by the Director of the competent unit. The letter should be drafted in the language of the request. A copy of this letter must be transmitted to A1 to enable accurate records to be kept.


d) Special case: the refusal to transmit information requested by a national court

The refusal to transmit information has to be duly reasoned. Unit A1 and the LS must be consulted on the refusal and must be given 5 working days to react. The letter of refusal has to be signed by the Director General.


See Also


  • Information about Requests for opinions relating to DG Competition in the Antitrust Manual of Procedures for the application of Articles 101 and 102 TFEU (Internal DG Competition)

Further Reading

  • Information about Requests for opinions relating to DG Competition in EU Competition Procedure, 3rd. Edition, Edited by Luis Ortiz Blanco (Oxford University Press)

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