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Private Enforcement in EU Competition Law

Wahlqvist, Viktor LU (2014) JURM02 20141
Department of Law
Abstract
Private enforcement, where victims of a competition infringement claim compensation from the infringer, has so far not played a prominent role within the EU. It has been stated that only 25 % of the Commission’s antitrust decision were followed by private damages action between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, the major part of these claims was filed in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. As a response to this, the Commission proposed a new directive in 2013, with the aim to facilitate private enforcement claims and in the same time protect the public enforcement mechanism.

The EU situation with few private enforcement claims forms a sharp contrast to the US one, where private enforcement is the major branch of competition enforcement.... (More)
Private enforcement, where victims of a competition infringement claim compensation from the infringer, has so far not played a prominent role within the EU. It has been stated that only 25 % of the Commission’s antitrust decision were followed by private damages action between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, the major part of these claims was filed in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. As a response to this, the Commission proposed a new directive in 2013, with the aim to facilitate private enforcement claims and in the same time protect the public enforcement mechanism.

The EU situation with few private enforcement claims forms a sharp contrast to the US one, where private enforcement is the major branch of competition enforcement. Treble damages, generous rules on disclosure and favorable rules to form class actions have created an industry surrounding private enforcement, making it extremely popular in the US.

The new directive as approved by the European Parliament and soon to be approved by the Council contains many solutions to the often difficult situations faced by a victim claiming compensation. In the same time it is clear the EU tries to go its own way, avoiding the generous US system. New features in the directive includes the introduction of a disclosure system where victims can apply at national courts to have the infringer release documents related to the infringement, protection of certain documents, allowing the passing-on defense, making decisions by national competition authorities binding on national courts and providing rules on joint and several liability.

The path chosen by the EU threatens to not provide victims with enough incentive to claim compensation as private enforcement actions are still burdensome to conduct and may harm important business relationships. However, as victims receive new possibilities to support their claims for compensation, the new directive will really provide victims with greater possibilities to become victors in private enforcement actions. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Privata skadeståndsprocesser, där den part som lidit skada av ett konkurrensbrott kräver kompensation från skadevållaren, har än så länge inte haft en framträdande roll i EU. Enbart 25 % av kommissionens kartellbeslut följdes upp med privata processer mellan 2008 och 2012, och av dessa skedde merparten i Storbritannien, Nederländerna och Tyskland. Som ett svar på detta föreslog kommissionen ett nytt direktiv 2013 som skulle underlätta privata skadeståndsprocesser och samtidigt skydda den offentliga kontrollmekanismen bestående av böter och möjlighet till eftergift.

Situationen i EU skiljer sig mycket from situationen i USA, där privata skadeståndsprocesser är den viktigaste mekanismen för att förhindra konkurrensbrott. Tredubbla... (More)
Privata skadeståndsprocesser, där den part som lidit skada av ett konkurrensbrott kräver kompensation från skadevållaren, har än så länge inte haft en framträdande roll i EU. Enbart 25 % av kommissionens kartellbeslut följdes upp med privata processer mellan 2008 och 2012, och av dessa skedde merparten i Storbritannien, Nederländerna och Tyskland. Som ett svar på detta föreslog kommissionen ett nytt direktiv 2013 som skulle underlätta privata skadeståndsprocesser och samtidigt skydda den offentliga kontrollmekanismen bestående av böter och möjlighet till eftergift.

Situationen i EU skiljer sig mycket from situationen i USA, där privata skadeståndsprocesser är den viktigaste mekanismen för att förhindra konkurrensbrott. Tredubbla skadestånd, generösa editionsregler och fördelaktiga regler för grupptalan har skapat en stor industri kring privata skadeståndsprocesser.

Det nya direktivet som godkänts av EU-parlamentet och inom kort av rådet innehåller många lösningar till de problem som skadelidande part möter i en privat skadeståndsprocess. Samtidigt går EU i och med direktivet sin egen väg, och undviker det generösa systemet i USA. Nya regler i direktivet inkluderar bland annat system med editionsföreläggande där skadelidande part kan ansöka hos nationell domstol om att få ut dokument hos skadevållande part, skydd för vissa typer av dokument, tillåtande av övervältring, bindande effekt av nationella konkurrensmyndigheters beslut och regler om solidariskt ansvar.

EU:s system riskerar att inte erbjuda offer till konkurrensrättsbrott tillräckligt med incitament att kräva kompensation, eftersom processen fortfarande är betungande och riskerar att skada viktiga affärsförbindelser. Trots detta ger ändå direktivet ökade möjligheter för offer att möjliggöra en kompensationstalan, varför det nya direktivet verkligen möjliggör för offer att till sist stå som segrare i privata konkurrensskadeståndsprocesser. (Less)
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author
Wahlqvist, Viktor LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURM02 20141
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
private enforcement, EU-rätt, EU law, skadestånd konkurrensrättsbrott, competition law, konkurrensrätt
language
English
id
4451087
date added to LUP
2014-06-12 11:41:53
date last changed
2014-06-12 11:41:53
@misc{4451087,
  abstract     = {Private enforcement, where victims of a competition infringement claim compensation from the infringer, has so far not played a prominent role within the EU. It has been stated that only 25 % of the Commission’s antitrust decision were followed by private damages action between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, the major part of these claims was filed in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany. As a response to this, the Commission proposed a new directive in 2013, with the aim to facilitate private enforcement claims and in the same time protect the public enforcement mechanism.

The EU situation with few private enforcement claims forms a sharp contrast to the US one, where private enforcement is the major branch of competition enforcement. Treble damages, generous rules on disclosure and favorable rules to form class actions have created an industry surrounding private enforcement, making it extremely popular in the US.

The new directive as approved by the European Parliament and soon to be approved by the Council contains many solutions to the often difficult situations faced by a victim claiming compensation. In the same time it is clear the EU tries to go its own way, avoiding the generous US system. New features in the directive includes the introduction of a disclosure system where victims can apply at national courts to have the infringer release documents related to the infringement, protection of certain documents, allowing the passing-on defense, making decisions by national competition authorities binding on national courts and providing rules on joint and several liability.

The path chosen by the EU threatens to not provide victims with enough incentive to claim compensation as private enforcement actions are still burdensome to conduct and may harm important business relationships. However, as victims receive new possibilities to support their claims for compensation, the new directive will really provide victims with greater possibilities to become victors in private enforcement actions.},
  author       = {Wahlqvist, Viktor},
  keyword      = {private enforcement,EU-rätt,EU law,skadestånd konkurrensrättsbrott,competition law,konkurrensrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Private Enforcement in EU Competition Law},
  year         = {2014},
}