Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Private Rights of Action in the EU

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Private rights of action in antitrust are all the rage in Europe. Few such suits have been brought thus far. However, there are a number of interesting developments that make a shift towards greater use more likely. The European Commission recently put up for tender a study on private rights in antitrust. This follows a 2005 proposal by the European Commission to reform the current legal system to facilitate private antitrust litigation.

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) that US antitrust plaintiff’s firm Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll will be opening a London office this month. The WSJ states that other firms are expanding their London based practices in anticipation of more private antitrust litigation.

Out this week on SSRN is a timely paper by Ilya Segal of Stanford and Michael Whinston of Northwestern, entitled Public vs. Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law: A Survey.   This paper adds to the existing literature by providing a discussion of the economic issues regarding public vs. private enforcement and the economic literature that pertains to it.

Also getting in on the debate is Terry Calvani of Freshfields.  Terry is one of the true gems of the antitrust community and along with Bill Kovacic one of the most engaging people to hear live on competition policy issues (does this make them the Bruce Springsteen of the antitrust world?).  Terry will be giving a series of lectures at the Oxford Competition Policy Centre in the UK in April on this and related topics (criminal sanctions for competition offences and private enforcement of antitrust).  This follows a similar set of lectures last year at Oxford for Terry.   

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2007/01/private_rights_.html

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