EEA: EFTA Court rules that a provision requiring specification of basis for suspicion in the context of an information request would be incompatible with the Market Abuse Directive

In Hellenic Capital Market Commission (HCMC) (Case E-23/13), the Court of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) took the view that a provision which required a competent authority making an information request of another competent authority to specify the facts giving rise to its suspicion would be incompatible with the Market Abuse Directive.  The Court ruled that the only pre-condition for entitlement to assistance under article 16(1) of the Market Abuse Directive (MAD) is that the requested information is necessary for the requesting authority to fulfil its duties, and that the requested authority is not entitled to review the necessity assessment.  The only circumstances in which a competent authority may refuse to act on such a request for information are those set out in article 16(2) of MAD.  The Court declined to consider whether the requested authority might refuse to act if it had reason to believe that the request was a mere fishing expedition, since the issue did not arise on the facts.

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