European Commission Moves Toward Private Damages Actions for Antitrust Violations

April 07, 2008

The European Commission (the Commission) published its long-awaited White Paper on Damages Actions for Breach of the EC Antitrust Rules (the White Paper) on April 2. The White Paper proposes a number of reforms to facilitate follow-on actions in cases decided by the Commission and European Union (EU) member state competition authorities. Although many of its proposals remain the subject of discussion, the Commission intends to introduce legislation on private damages actions by the end of 2008. The White Paper will no doubt increase the volume of follow-on private litigation in EU member state courts somewhat. However, it is unlikely to spur substantial private enforcement of the EU antitrust laws in cases that have not been initially investigated and prosecuted by public enforcement authorities.

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