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Brussels, 13 September 2010

Competition: Commission appoints Wouter Wils as Hearing Officer

The European Commission has appointed Prof. Dr. Wouter P.J. Wils as Hearing Officer for competition cases. As of 16 September 2010, he will join Michael Albers, who was appointed as Hearing Officer in 2008. Both Hearing Officers are invested by the Commission with independent decision-making powers, are not members of the Directorate General for Competition and report directly to the Commissioner for Competition, Joaquín Almunia.

European Commission Vice President and Commissioner for Competition Joaquin Almunia, said: "I am pleased that the Commission has appointed a senior official with such strong credentials for the job. Given his outstanding experience in competition enforcement both inside and outside the Commission, independent thinking as an academic and well known expertise in procedural law matters, Mr. Wils, together with his colleague Michael Albers, will make a significant contribution to maintaining the highest standards of procedural fairness in our cases."

Mr. Wils is currently a Member of the Commission's Legal Service and a Visiting Professor at King’s College London. He was educated both as an economist and as a lawyer at Louvain, Utrecht and Harvard, and is a former referendaire of Advocate General Van Gerven at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. As a member of the Legal Service, he has represented the Commission in more than 300 cases before the European Courts and the EFTA Court, and is the author of a variety of legal and economic publications.

The Commission launched the recruitment procedure in May 2010. It was open to senior Commission officials from all its services.

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