eLeniency

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The European Commission (EC) has announced its launch of eLeniency, a new online tool to enable communications in the context of leniency, settlement and cooperation procedures.

The tool facilitates communications from companies involved in a competition proceeding with the EC, allowing them and their lawyers to file statements and submissions online from any location without having to travel to DG COMP’s premises in Brussels.

Its functionality includes:

  • In leniency proceedings: filing written leniency applications, sending supporting documents and responding to information requests.
  • Settlement and cooperation proceedings: filing formal settlement requests (in cartel cases) or cooperation requests (if the alleged conducts do not constitute a cartel), providing comments and sending documents or statements.

The advantages of the tool include the time and cost savings due to not needing to travel, and the possibility of securely sending documents, given that the EC offers the same confidentiality guarantees and legal protection as for information received through traditional channels.

In particular, leniency statements cannot be copied or printed and are available for 24 hours only, during which period the EC must transcribe them to avoid creating a document that could be subject to discovery or disclosure in damages claims proceedings.

To help users to navigate eLeniency, the EC has prepared guidance with recommendations on how to file and access documents uploaded on the platform. It covers the kind of documents that can be filed, the possibility of including references or appendices, file type and extensions, and other language and format questions.

Users must create an EU Login and send an email to comp-leniency@ec.europa.eu, indicating the email address linked to their EU Login account and asking to have it registered with the eLeniency system.

The eLeniency tool is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and although the tool is written in English, documents relating to leniency can be filed in any of the EU’s 24 official languages.

The initiative forms part of the second package of measures of the action Administration, Business and Citizens’ Data Exchanges in the domain of case management (“ABCDE Action”) of the ISA2 program, which aims to reduce costs and improve efficiency and effectiveness of procedures and formalities with the European and national administrations in competition law. In the context of the ABCDE Action, the EC plans to launch other digital tools in the near future for confidentiality requests (eConfidentiality) and to respond to requests for information (eRFI).

You can read the EC press release here.

You can access and register with eLeniency here.

This post is also available in: esEspañol

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maria.lopezridruejo@cuatrecasas.com

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pedro.lopez@cuatrecasas.com

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