The Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions and Its role in the Future Enforcement of the EU Antitrust Rules

This article is part of a Chronicle. See more from this Chronicle

Daniele Calisti, Luke Haasbeek, Jan 22, 2015

At the end of 2014, acting on a 2013 Commission proposal, the European Parliament and the Council adopted the Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions. This legislative act introduces a set of rules, aimed at increasing the effectiveness of the exercise of the EU right to full compensation by victims of infringements of the EU competition rules, as well as to ensure an optimal balance between the public and the private enforcement of those EU competition rules.

This twofold purpose provides an indication of the role that the Directive is meant to play in the future enforcement of the EU antitrust rules, which is to ensure the optimal overall effective enforcement of the EU competition rules, consisting of the complementary means of its public and private enforcement.

As of yet, the efficiency of the private enforcement of the EU competition rules is far from optimal. Even though the right to full compensation of victims had been explicitly established by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2001, it is still difficult to successfully exercise this right. All in all, victims of infringements of the EU competition rules forego over 20 billion euros in compensation each year. This is mostly due to obstacles in national legislations, which the Directive intends to eliminate. Consequently, the first expected role of the Directive in the future enforcement of t…


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