Antitrust Damages Actions in the EU: The Way Forward

By Juan Delgado (Global Economics Group)

Despite the adoption of the European Damages Directive and its transposition to national legal systems, a number of obstacles to antitrust damages actions in the EU still persist. Such obstacles stem from both substantial and procedural aspects. Information and data available to plaintiffs and defendants are asymmetric and incomplete. In addition, the financial interests of defendants are generally higher than those of the plaintiffs, which implies higher incentives to invest in litigation resources. Also, in many cases, it is complex to establish what would have happened in the absence of the anticompetitive conducts. Lastly, procedures differ broadly across Member States and several procedural obstacles to an effective damage claim mechanism still persist. The removal of obstacles to antitrust damages actions is a common responsibility of legislators, courts and competition authorities both at domestic and EU levels. Further policy and legislative actions are needed in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of antitrust damages actions in the EU.

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