Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Private Rights of Action in the EU- A Potential Disaster?

Posted by D. Daniel Sokol

Kent S. Bernard of Pfizer provided an in-house analysis of U.S. inspired private antitrust actions to the EU in his article Private Damages Actions: A U.S. Perspective on Importing U.S. Damages Actions to the EU

ABSTRACT: On December 19, 2005 the European Commission published for public consultation a Green Paper on Damages Actions for Breach of EC Antitrust Rules (“the Green Paper”). The stated aim was to design a more efficient system for bringing private damages actions for infringement of EC antitrust law. The source of many of the suggested changes was United States antitrust litigation practice.

In the debate that has followed, a key point seems to have been overlooked—U.S. antitrust litigation goes together with U.S. substantive antitrust law. Regardless of what one thinks of the U.S. litigation system in the context of U.S. substantive law, to graft that system onto the very different approach embodied in EC competition law raises a whole host of potential problems. This may well not be a hybrid that the EC wants to create.

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