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Getting the Information: Access to Leniency Documents in Germany

R. Harms and A. Petrasincu, Competition Law Insight, July 2014

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Once a cartel has been uncovered, customers that consider bringing damage claims often try to gain access to the investigation files of the competition authorities, in particular in relation to leniency applications. These customers usually hope to gain information about the effects of the cartel and the amount of the cartel overcharge, if any. As evidenced by the ECJ’s Pfleiderer and Donau Chemie decisions or the English High Court’s decision in National Grid, customers’ access to the competition authorities’ files – and in particular to leniency statements – plays an increasingly important role all over Europe.

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