C was company involved in tender procedure for building of tank tracks; however lost to a rival firm. C challenged decision, and during hearing demanded disclosure of rival company’s tender details, on grounds that failure to disclose rival tender prevented it effectively challenging decision. Belgium claimed disclosure was not possible as rival bid contained confidential information such as rival company’s trade secrets. Held:
· Rival firm has Article 8 right to respect for its private life
Ø i.e. details of its participation in the tender may be protected by Article 8
Ø this even though it is a company.
· Moreover protection of commercial secrets is general principle of EU law.
· Thus Belgian court must balance rival company’s right to protection of its confidential information against C’s right to fair hearing