Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/C.37.773 — Monochloroacetic Acid (MCAA) (pursuant to Article 15 of Commission Decision (2001/462/EC, ECSC of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings — OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21 )
OJ C 303, 13.12.2006, p. 10–10 (ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, NL, PL, PT, SK, SL, FI, SV)
CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HU IT LT LV NL PL PT SK SL SV
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Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/C.37.773 — Monochloroacetic Acid (MCAA)
(pursuant to Article 15 of Commission Decision (2001/462/EC, ECSC of 23 May 2001 on the terms of reference of Hearing Officers in certain competition proceedings — OJ L 162, 19.6.2001, p. 21)
The draft decision in the abovementioned case gives rise to the following observations:
The Commission's investigation of a potential infringement of Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty and Article 53(1) of the EEA Treaty in the MCAA industry was initiated following an application for leniency submitted further to the Commission's 1996 Notice on Non-imposition or reduction of Fines in Cartel Cases ("Leniency Notice").
A Statement of Objections ("SO") was sent on 7 April 2004 to twelve parties considered on a preliminary basis to have participated in the cartel, namely;
- Akzo Nobel NV, Akzo Nobel Nederland BV, Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals BV, Akzo Nobel Chemicals BV, Akzo Nobel AB, Eka Chemicals AB, Akzo Nobel Base Chemicals AB. ("Akzo Nobel")
- Clariant GmbH, Clariant AG ("Clariant")
- Elf Aquitaine SA, Atofina SA and
- Hoechst AG ("Hoechst")
Access to the file was provided by CD-ROM.
An extension of the deadline to reply to the SO was granted to a number of companies (Akzo Nobel, Clariant, Elf Aquitaine SA and Atofina SA). They all replied, within the time limit provided.
Hoechst was initially served with an incomplete version of the SO. A corrected version was sent subsequently. Accordingly, Hoechst was granted a further extension of the deadline to reply and did so, within the time limit provided, on 23 July 2004.
By letters of 22 June and 28 July 2004, Hoechst requested access to the reply by Clariant to the SO. Hoechst was informed that other parties' responses to the SO are not part of the investigation file to which access is generally granted. Access to other parties' replies is required only to the extent that they contain information that the Commission intends to make use of in the final decision. This has not occurred in the present case.
All parties except for Elf Aquitaine SA and Hoechst participated in an oral hearing that took place on 10 September 2003.
The draft decision submitted to the Commission only contains objections in respect of which the parties have been afforded the opportunity of making known their views.
In the light of the above, I consider that the rights of the parties to be heard have been respected in this case
Brussels, 9 December 2004