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On 14 June, the European Court of Justice gave its preliminary ruling in the case C-360/09, Pfleiderer v Bundeskartellamt, concluding that it should be for national courts and tribunals to determine whether, and on what conditions, third parties seeking civil damages should be given access to documents submitted to a national competition authority pursuant to a leniency application. The court (rightly in our view) did not follow the opinion of Advocate General Mazak. But the decision nonetheless highlights the difficulties faced by those that may have transgressed and are weighing up the potential costs and benefits of seeking leniency in the EU.
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