ECJ 1. The obligation imposed upon the commission by articles 2 and 4 of regulation no 99/63 to inform an undertaking, in writing or by giving notice in the official journal, of the objections raised against it and to deal, in its decisions, only with these objections, is essentially concerned with the statement of the reasons which lead it to apply article 85 (1).
On the other hand, the commission cannot be expected to anticipate the conditions and obligations to which it is entitled to subject the exemption laid down in article 85 (3).
2. It is clear, however, both from the nature and objective of the procedure for hearings, and from articles 5, 6 and 7 of regulation no 99/63, that this regulation, notwithstanding the cases specifically dealt with in articles 2 and 4, applies the general rule that persons whose interests are perceptibly affected by a decision taken by a public authority must be given the opportunity to make their point of view known.
3. Since article 85 (3) constitutes, for the benefit of undertakings, an exception to the general prohibition contained in article 85 (1), the commission must be in a position at any moment to check whether the conditions justifying the exemption are still present.
Accordingly, in relation to the detailed rules to which it may subject the exemption, the commission enjoys a large measure of discretion, while at the same time having to act within the limits imposed upon its competence by article 85.
On the other hand, the exercise of this discretionary power is linked to a preliminary canvassing of objections which may be raised by the undertakings.
C-17/74,  EUECJ C-17/74
Updated: 21 May 2022; Ref: scu.132358