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Showing 1 - 20 of 95 results

Decision in case 2022/2018/VB on the European Commission’s failure to take a timely decision on a state aid complaint in the telecommunications sector

Monday | 16 March 2020

The case concerned the European Commission’s failure to take a timely decision on a state aid complaint made by a Slovenian telecommunications company.

The Ombudsman regrets that it took the Commission some nine years after having received the complaint to determine that the complainant was not an interested party. While a certain amount of time may be required to come to such a conclusion, nine years is excessive, even in a case that the Commission has determined is not a priority.

The Ombudsman acknowledges that the Commission was not inactive during this period as it engaged in extensive exchanges with the complainant and the national authorities and addressed all the arguments raised by the complainant.

As the Commission has now finalised the analysis of the state aid complaint, the Ombudsman concludes that no further inquiries into this complaint are justified and closes the case.

Decision in case 2077/2019/FP on the European Commission’s failure to grant access to documents relating to a merger procedure

Monday | 02 December 2019

The case concerned the Commission’s refusal to grant access to documents relating to the notification and pre-notification procedure in a merger case. The Commission refused access to the document, arguing that documents in merger cases are covered by a ‘general presumption’ of non-disclosure, established by the EU courts. The complainant contended that there was an overriding public interest in its disclosure.

The Ombudsman found that the Commission was entitled to refuse access to the document, and thus closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.

Decision in case 1311/2018/VB on the European Commission’s refusal to grant full public access to documents describing the collection of electronic evidence in the context of antitrust investigations

Monday | 30 September 2019

The case concerned the European Commission’s refusal to grant full public access to certain documents concerning the collection of electronic evidence using forensic IT tools in the context of antitrust investigations.

The Ombudsman inquired into the issue and found that the Commission’s refusal was justified and in line with the EU rules on public access to documents.

The Ombudsman closed the inquiry finding no maladministration.

Decision in case 1585/2018/MH on how the European Commission dealt with concerns raised by an Italian region about a steel plant acquisition

Monday | 09 September 2019

The case is about how the European Commission dealt with concerns surrounding the acquisition of a steel plant in Italy. An Italian region complained to the Ombudsman that the Commission had not given it sufficient opportunity to raise its concerns, before approving the acquisition under the EU Merger Rules.

The Commission’s competition department had a call with the complainant before it approved the acquisition. On that call, it gave the complainant reasonable explanations about why its legal concerns were not relevant to the Commission’s assessment. It also became apparent during that call that the complainant was focussing on the environment rather than on competition matters. The Commission thus referred it to the relevant department, in line with the principles of good administration. The complainant then had the opportunity to provide that department with further information on its environmental concerns.

The Ombudsman therefore closed the inquiry with a finding of no maladministration.