CJEU confirms the right of all cartel victims to obtain redress in Elevators and Escalators cartel case


Juraj Šiška, Vasil Savov, Till Schreiber & Marc Barennes; Cartel Damage Claims

Introduction

The year 2019 was marked by a number of landmark judgements of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) in the field of private enforcement such as SkanskaCogeco and Tibor-Trans.

On 12 December 2019 the CJEU rendered its judgement in Case-435/18, Otis Geselschaft m.b.H. e.a., (Austrian Elevators and Escalators). Following the Opinion of Advocate General (‘AG’) Kokott, it confirmed in essence that an entity, who does not operate on the market affected by the cartel, is nonetheless entitled to claim damages caused by that cartel.

Factual context

Back in 2007, the European Commission imposed an administrative fine of over EUR 990 million on various companies participating, at least since the 1980s, in the elevators and escalators cartel. In 2010, the Province of Upper Austria (‘Claimant’) brought a follow-on action for damages against the participants in the elevators and escalators cartel (‘Defendants’) before the Commercial Court of Vienna…

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