Opportunity for parties, to whom the Commission has addressed objections for violation of EU competition law, to make their views known. In order to respect the parties’ right to be heard, the Commission must in its final decisions only deal with objections on which the parties were afforded the possibility to present their position. This is normally done in writing and — upon the parties’ request — orally in a meeting with the Commission services where representatives of Member States are also present. The oral hearing is conducted by the hearing officer. Likewise, where the Commission rejects a complaint, or, conversely, raises objections relating to an issue in respect of which it received a complaint, it must give the complainant the opportunity to make his views known. Moreover complainants, and third parties showing a sufficient interest, have a right to be Hheard in writing and may also be given the opportunity to develop their views at the oral hearing.

Source: Glossary of terms used in EU competition policy, Antitrust and control of concentrations, European Commission, 2002