Article 36, Right to be heard for the imposition of penalties.
1. Before adopting a decision pursuant to Article 33, the Commission shall give the undertaking concerned the opportunity of being heard on:
(a) preliminary findings of the Commission, including any matter to which the Commission has taken objections;
(b) measures that the Commission may intend to take in view of the preliminary findings referred to in point (a).
2. Undertakings concerned may submit their observations on the Commission’s preliminary findings pursuant to paragraph 1, point (a), within a time limit which shall be fixed by the Commission in its preliminary findings and which may not be less than 14 days.
3. The Commission shall base its decisions only on objections on which undertakings concerned have been able to comment.
4. The rights of defence of the undertaking concerned shall be fully respected in any proceedings. The undertaking concerned shall be entitled to have access to the Commission’s file under the terms of a negotiated disclosure, subject to the legitimate interest of undertakings in the protection of their business secrets.
The right of access to the file shall not extend to confidential information and internal documents of the Commission or the authorities of the Member States. In particular, the right of access shall not extend to correspondence between the Commission and the authorities of the Member States. Nothing in this paragraph shall prevent the Commission from disclosing and using information necessary to prove an infringement.