Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/38.432 — Professional videotape (pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 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 57, 1.3.2008, p. 7–8 (BG, ES, CS, DA, DE, ET, EL, EN, FR, IT, LV, LT, HU, MT, NL, PL, PT, RO, SK, SL, FI, SV)
BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV
|Bilingual display: BG CS DA DE EL EN ES ET FI FR HU IT LT LV MT NL PL PT RO SK SL SV|
Final report of the Hearing Officer in Case COMP/38.432 — Professional videotape
(pursuant to Articles 15 and 16 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 gives rise to the following observations:
In May 2002, the Commission carried out inspections at premises belonging to members of the Sony, Fuji and Maxell groups in five Member States. Following these inspections leniency applications were submitted and the Commission carried out further investigation. The Commission came to the preliminary conclusion that Fuji, Maxell and Sony discussed and entered into agreements and/or concerted practices in violation of Article 81 of the EC Treaty and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area with a view to increasing and maintaining or stabilising prices for two formats of professional videotapes, Betacam SP and Digital Betacam, in the EEA, and also exchanged information to facilitate and/or monitor their implementation from at least as early as 23 August 1999 and at least until 16 May 2002.
Statement of Objections and the time to reply
On 8 March 2007 the Commission initiated proceedings and adopted a Statement of Objections ("SO"). The addressees of the SO were Sony France SA and its parent companies Sony Europe Holding BV, Sony Corporation (hereinafter jointly referred to as "Sony"), FUJIFILM Recording Media GmbH and its parent companies FUJIFILM Corporation and FUJIFILM Holdings Corporation (hereinafter jointly referred to as "Fuji") and Maxell Europe Limited and its parent company Hitachi Maxell Limited (hereinafter jointly referred as "Maxell").
The addressees received the SO between 13 and 16 March 2007, with a two-month deadline to reply. Upon their reasoned requests, I granted extensions to Fuji and Sony until 16 and 21 May 2007, respectively. All parties replied in due time.
Access to file
The parties had access to the Commission file in the form of CD-ROMs which they received together with the SO. None of the parties addressed any issues relating to access to file to me.
Maxell's leniency application
On 10 April 2007, Maxell applied for leniency under the terms of the 2002 Leniency Notice  which was sent to the other parties.
An oral hearing was held on 12 June 2007. All addressees of the SO attended the oral hearing and presented their views.
The draft decision
In the draft decision, the Commission included a favourable assessment of Maxell's leniency application, stating that Maxell's reply corroborated to a very significant extent to the interpretation of the facts, and granted a reduction of the fine which otherwise would have been imposed on Maxell.
The draft decision is the first Commission decision in which the 2006 Guidelines on fines  are applied.
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.
I conclude that the rights of the parties to be heard have been respected in the present case.
Brussels, 8 November 2007.
 OJ C 45, 19.2.2002, p. 3.
 OJ C 210, 1.9.2006, p. 2.