EU investigators swooping in on companies suspected of antitrust violations will now search and seize information contained in smartphones and other private devices found on corporate premises during dawn raids. Data stored in cloud services, servers, external hard disks and back-up tapes will also be targeted, in addition to laptops, desktops CD-ROMs, USB-keys and other storage media.
In an explanatory note explaining the type of evidence it may seek during raids published this month, the European Commission also said that personal data contained in business documents may now also be retained.
The note, a revision of previous guidance, shows an increased focus on IT searches, which will now be expanded to recover evidence in their ‘technical entirety.’ What this means, is that the entire family of the relevant document will be subject to examination. For example, the entire email chain with all attachments will be subject to examination even if only one attachment is selected in the investigation.
“The Commission is expanding the volume of data in its antitrust investigations,” says Jennifer Sharman Koh, Regional Director of LexSensis in Brussels. “This will put more pressure on companies and law firms to find cost-effective ways to manage the review of such large and complex volumes of data.”
“The ability to have those documents reviewed by the right team of lawyers with experience of such cases and with the assistance of the right technology platform, will be a real advantage.”
LexSensis has a vast network of bar-registered European lawyers experienced in reviewing documents in competition investigations. We also offer a managed review service that offers tailor-made project solutions. Contact us to find out more about how we can help.