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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

28 JAN 2012

Appeal against refusal to disclose documents

On 28 January 2012, details of Henkel's appeal against the Commission's decision refusing to disclose documents to the French Competition Authority were published. Henkel claims that the Commission's decision to refuse disclosure was taken in breach of its duties under Art 4(3) TFEU as well as Henkel's rights of defence and the principle of equality of arms.
In April 2011, Procter & Gamble and Unilever, manufacturers of washing powder, were fined a total of €315.2m for their participation in an unlawful cartel relating to consumer detergents. Henkel received full immunity from fines under the 2002 Leniency Notice.
As a result of the Commission's decision in September 2011 not to transfer 15 documents produced in the context of that cartel case to the French Competition Authority, Henkel was not able to rely on such documents during proceedings before the French Competition Authority. In December 2011, Henkel was one of four detergent manufacturers fined by the French Competition Authority for participation in the cartel.

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