By Francisco Marcos (IE Law School)
After briefly describing the institutional and legal framework for antitrust damages claims in Spain, this article surveys the courts’ experience in deciding these actions and shows the rise in cartel follow-on claims in the last five years. Damages claims for antitrust infringements declared or known after the 27 May 2017 will be governed by national legal provisions implementing Directive 2014/104/UE.
Although there had been in the past some antitrust damages cases for abuse of dominance and vertical restraints (both follow- on and stand-alone), nowadays follow-on cartel actions are the most numerous. Therein, private plaintiffs tread on the heels of competition authorities. Competition authorities’ unearthing of major cartels in several industries has paved the way for damages suits by their victims. After the Supreme Court decided the leading case of damages’ claims in the sugar cartel, follow-on on damages claims have germinated from the paper envelopes cartel, the decennial real estate insurance cartel and, most notably, the truck manufacturers’ cartel.