Short Reads

European Commission launches anonymous whistleblower tool

European Commission launches anonymous whistleblower tool

European Commission launches anonymous whistleblower tool

04.04.2017

On 16 March 2017, the European Commission launched a new whistleblower tool that will make it easier for individuals to anonymously inform the Commission about cartels and other anti-competitive practices.

The encrypted whistleblower tool, provided by an external intermediary, is available on the Commission's website and allows for anonymous two-way communication between the individual and the Commission in any EU language. Individuals waiving anonymity can contact the Commission directly via a dedicated phone number and email address.

According to the Commission the new tool will complement and reinforce its existing leniency programme, which has been predominantly relied on to detect cartels. The leniency programme allows companies to report their own involvement in a cartel and to hand over evidence to the Commission in exchange for a reduction of the fine imposed on them.

By introducing the tool the Commission gives individual employees with knowledge of a cartel or other anti-competitive behaviour an opportunity to come forward. The Commission aims to increase the likelihood that the information received from individuals will be sufficiently precise and reliable to enable the Commission to start an investigation.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of April 2017. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. Court of Justice confirms the fine imposed on Samsung in the cathode ray tubes cartel
  2. Court of Justice rules on the Hearing Officer's competence to resolve confidentiality requests
  3. General Court annuls European Commission's merger blocking decision in UPS/TNT for procedural errors 
  4. European Commission proposes a new Directive to empower national competition authorities to be more effective enforcers of EU competition law rules
  5. District Court of Gelderland denies passing-on defense in antitrust litigation related to the GIS-cartel

Team

Related news

05.04.2022 NL law
Game on for gatekeepers: Digital Markets Act finalised

Short Reads - Now that political agreement has been reached on the final text, the Digital Markets Act (DMA) will enter into force soon. The DMA’s ex ante rules and obligations will apply next to the ad hoc EU and national competition rules. Time for big digital companies to take stock of the potential implications of these additional rules on their day-to-day business operations. See our infographic for a concise overview of the DMA.

Read more

04.04.2022 EU law
ACM jumps on gun-jumping bandwagon

Short Reads - Companies involved in multi-step acquisitions should beware of potential gun-jumping risks. The Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) has fined a trade association for failing to notify the acquisition of four pharmacies involving a consecutive partial resale. Unlike the European Commission’s gun-jumping fine for partial implementation of a concentration through a ‘warehousing’ two-step acquisition (see our July 2019 newsletter; appeal pending), the ACM’s fine relates to faulty turnover calculations due to an unmaterialized two-step transaction.

Read more

04.04.2022 EU law
The ECN+ Directive implemented in Belgium and introduction of merger filing fees

Short Reads - On 7 March 2022, the Act implementing the ECN+ Directive into Belgian law was published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The Act entered into force on 17 March 2022. Some of the key amendments include (i) the introduction of filing fees for the notification of a concentration, (ii) new fines and penalty payments (including clarifications on the leniency programme), (iii) new dawn raid powers and (iv) the introduction of a regulatory framework for mutual assistance and cooperation within the European Competition Network.

Read more