Who Does What in Competition Law: Harmonizing the Rules on Damages for Infringements of the EU Competition Rules?

Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2014/19

42 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2014 Last revised: 30 Mar 2015

See all articles by Caroline Cauffman

Caroline Cauffman

Maastricht University

Niels J. Philipsen

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law, Metro

Date Written: November 7, 2014

Abstract

After a long preparatory process, a Directive harmonizing certain national rules on private enforcement of competition law has been adopted by the European Parliament. In this contribution it is investigated whether harmonization of these rules was desirable and whether the main objectives of the directive, the improvement of the possibilities for victims to obtain damages and of the interaction between public and private competition, are likely to be achieved. With regard to the aim of increasing the possibilities for victims of antitrust infringements to obtain compensation, we can conclude that the Directive indeed increases this possibility, although various obstacles to private action are likely to remain. This includes obstacles in relation to (lacking) possibilities for collective action, the requirement to prove negligence or intent, and rules on disclosure of evidence. With regard to the interaction of public and private enforcement of competition law a crucial issue is finding the right balance between using the leniency program (which the European Commission needs in order to be able to effectively trace cartels) in the public enforcement of competition law and compensating victims via enforcement of private law. Whether the Directive has chosen the most desirable option to achieve this balance is debatable.

Keywords: harmonization, law and economics, private enforcement of competition law, antitrust damages directive, access to documents, joint and several liability, consequences of immunity, passing on of overcharges

JEL Classification: K00, K13, K21, K42

Suggested Citation

Cauffman, Caroline and Philipsen, N. J., Who Does What in Competition Law: Harmonizing the Rules on Damages for Infringements of the EU Competition Rules? (November 7, 2014). Maastricht European Private Law Institute Working Paper No. 2014/19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2520381 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2520381

Caroline Cauffman (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands

N. J. Philipsen

Maastricht University - Faculty of Law, Metro ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD
Netherlands
+31 43 388 3256 (Phone)
+31 43 325 9091 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.maastrichtuniversity.nl/web/show/id=116435/langid=43

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