The European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Directive on how citizens and companies can claim damages when they are victims of infringements of the EU antitrust rules, such as cartels and abuses of a dominant market position.
The proposal is set to remove a number of practical difficulties which victims frequently face when they try to receive a fair compensation for the damage they have suffered.
The EU Court of Justice has recognised the right for all victims of antitrust infringements to be compensated for the harm suffered. However, due to procedural obstacles and legal uncertainty, only few of these victims actually manage to obtain compensation.
The proposal therefore sets out a number of measures that aim to facilitate damages actions:
The proposal fully takes into account the key role played by competition authorities (at EU or national level) to investigate, find and sanction infringements. Contrary to the US system, the proposal does not seek to leave the punishment and deterrence to private litigation. Rather, its main objective is to facilitate full and fair compensation for victims once a public authority has found and sanctioned an infringement.
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