Final report of the Hearing Officer in case COMP/37.519 — Methionine (pursuant to Article 15 of Commission Decision 2001/462/EC, ECS of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21)) (Text with EEA relevance)
OJ C 241, 8.10.2003, p. 6–6 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)
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Final report of the Hearing Officer in case COMP/37.519 - Methionine
(pursuant to Article 15 of Commission Decision 2001/462/EC, ECS of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings (OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21))
(Text with EEA relevance)
The draft decision gives rise to the following observations on the rights to be heard:
The Commission initiated on 1 October 2001 proceedings and adopted a Statement of Objections against five producers of Methionine.
Some parties in the procedure requested access to additional documents other than the ones that were annexed to the Statement of Objections. Through correspondence with the Hearing Officer, some of the parties agreed to give each other access to certain additional documents. They also accepted the view of the Hearing Officer according to which some of the documents requested did not contain useful information for them, and they therefore dropped their request.
In addition, more detailed information regarding the remaining non-accessible documents was given, but full access to these documents was refused on the grounds that they referred to the reasoning of one undertaking concerning the possible individualisation of a fine.
The period to reply to the Statement of Objections was extended from 4 December 2001 to 10 January 2002 and all five parties submitted written observations in response to the Commission's Objections. One party to the proceedings, on its request, was heard in absence of the other parties, for part of its oral hearing, in order to disclose further confidential information, which it considered relevant to its right of defence.
Following the Hearing, the Commission decided not to pursue the procedure against two of the five producers.
In the light of the above, I conclude that the rights to be heard have been respected in this case. In particular, the draft decision deals only with objections which the parties have been afforded the opportunity of making known their views.
Done at Brussel, 26 June 2002.