International Competition Law: The Antitrust Damages Directive Feb 2016

Authors: Ruth Flaherty Published date: 29-10-2017 Status: Published

This article builds on previous works examining whether private enforcement should be prioritised over public enforcement for breaches of competition law within the EC. Data is analysed from European and national competition authorities case law, and from applicable explanatory documentation. A new theory is laid out – that for the most efficient outcome both public and private enforcement should be utilised in different situations. Following the statement of intent in Preamble 6, Damages Directive 2014/104, ‘both tools are required to interact to ensure maximum effectiveness of the competition rules’. This article uncovers that the Directive follows the direction of the European competition policy. Case law such as Courage v Crehan, Courage v Crehan, and Kone demonstrate that private effects for damages should be at least as important as public enforcement strategies. Other solutions–such as costs, proportionate damages, and collective redress–would be more effective than the current design, since the Directive arguably does not go far enough to incentivise private actions for damages.

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