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Ann Marie Galvin, Feb 25, 2015
Private enforcement has come a long distance since the European Commission (“the Commission”) began its assessment of how to support and encourage damages actions over ten years ago. The question of whether European consumers have access to sufficient and appropriate mechanisms to claim damages for harm has been a focus for different Commission Directorates in separate parallel initiatives. The Competition Directorate has examined the need for collective redress for victims of antitrust infringements and the Directorate for Health and Consumer Affairs has looked more broadly at general consumer collective redress. Disagreement between stakeholders and concerns as to the lack of coherence in the Commission’s approach resulted in further consultation and a separate approach to collective redress. This article provides a summary of the current position of collective redress in the context of antitrust damages actions at EU and national levels.