Collective Antitrust Damages Actions in the EU: The Opt-In v. The Opt-Out Model
IE Law School Working Paper No. 10-03
Posted: 21 May 2010
Date Written: April 26, 2010
The European Commission is currently trying to foster private enforcement of the EU antitrust rules since various studies have shown that the number of antitrust damages actions brought in the EU is low. It is, inter alia, proposing the introduction of opt-in collective actions and representative actions in the EU.
This paper aims to demonstrate that the Commission is wrong to completely exclude collective actions based on an opt-out model, which would arguably be necessary in cases involving multiple low value claims. First, the flaws in existing collective actions in a number of EU Member States and the actions proposed by the Commission will be analyzed. Second, the advantages and drawbacks of opt-out collective actions available in several Member States will be assessed. Finally, the paper will assess the feasibility of introducing opt-out collective actions in the EU and recommend what types of collective actions the EU should adopt.
Keywords: Collective action, opt-in collective action, opt-out collective action, class action, antitrust damages action, private enforcement, antitrust rules, European Union
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