European Commission Tables Measures to Facilitate Private Antitrust Damages Litigation in Europe
On 11 June 2013, the European Commission published a package of measures aimed at making it easier for victims of illegal cartels and other violations of European law to recover damages before national courts throughout the European Union. Following several years of political debate, the key documents published by the Commission are a proposal for an EU Directive on civil antitrust damages litigation and a non-binding Recommendation urging Member States to enable groups of victims to bring court actions more efficiently when seeking injunctions or compensation for violations of EU competition and any other substantive EU laws. Both instruments apply to all types of EU competition law infringements (hard core cartels, general anticompetitive arrangements and abuse of dominance), and the Recommendation applies in addition to violations of any other EU substantive laws. The proposed Directive will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council, where it may face resistance at least on certain aspects. Once adopted, the Directive would allow EU Member States two years to bring the changes into force. The Recommendation on collective redress is immediately applicable but does not legally bind the Member States. It asks Member States to reform their national laws in line with the Recommendation during the next two years.