Directive on antitrust damages actions

On 10th November, the Council of the EU formally adopted the corrigendum text as approved by the ECON Committee in September 2014 for the Directive on antitrust damages actions.

This Directive will help citizens and companies claim damages if they are victims of infringements of EU antitrust rules, such as cartels or abuses of dominant market positions. Thanks to the new rules, any natural or legal person who has suffered harm caused by an infringement of competition law by an undertaking or by a group of undertakings could effectively exercise the right to claim full compensation for that harm from that undertaking or group.

Where the undertaking is a small or medium-sized enterprise, it would be liable only to its own direct and indirect purchasers if: a) its market share in the relevant market was below 5% at any time during the infringement; and if b) the application of the normal rules of joint and several liability would irretrievably jeopardize the economic viability of the company concerned.

The text was approved without amendments and it is therefore expected that the text of the Directive, which will shortly be published in the Official Journal of the EU, will reflect the draft approved by the European Parliament in April earlier this year. The Directive will be published following its formal adoption at the Plenary session of the European Parliament which will be held next week, and it will enter into force 20 days after the publication.

To read the press release of the European Commission, please follow this link: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-14-1580_en.htm

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