Whistleblowers can now signal competition law infringements to the European Commission via an anonymous messaging system.

As part of its constant battle against restrictive practices, the European Commission recently launched an electronic platform enabling individuals to anonymously report the existence of secret cartels or other infringements of competition law.

The Commission hopes this tool will allow it to obtain inside information, e.g. from (former) managers and employees, which could constitute the basis for an investigation.

The messaging system allows whistleblowers to send anonymous, encrypted messages to the Commission. An external service provider will operate the system and will transmit only the content of the notifications, without any metadata that could lead to identification of the whistleblower.

The Commission expects this system – which complements the leniency programme – to further increase the probability of discovery and prosecution of competition law infringements, and, accordingly, to increase deterrence.