The EU Commission, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) or other sector regulators with competition powers may conduct unannounced onsite inspections of businesses if they suspect a breach of competition law through anti-competitive activity or conduct. These surprise inspections, often dubbed ‘dawn raids’, are employed to gather evidence in relation to suspected cartels. Such raids are often stressful as a company may be heavily fined in relation to its conduct as well as for the conduct of its employees during the inspection.
The purpose of this guidance is to assist companies and their employees with internal plans for dealing with a dawn raid. While this guidance focuses on the EU Commission, the basic principles are also applicable to national competition authorities, such as the CMA.
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This post was also written by Emily Daniels, trainee solicitor.