Wednesday, March 13, 2013
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Andrea Hamilton, McDermott, Will and Emery and David Henry, McDermott, Will and Emery summarize Bricks, Beer and Shoes: Indirect Purchaser Standing in the European Union and the United States.
ABSTRACT: Mature antitrust regimes typically prioritize two main enforcement goals: deterrence and compensation of those injured by anti-competitive conduct. The simultaneous pursuit of these goals, however, creates difficulties for policymakers and enforcers that seek to strike a balance between public and private enforcement. Public enforcement is seen as the optimal means for achieving deterrence, through the imposition of high fines and (in some jurisdictions) individual sanctions. On the other hand, public enforcement in its current form does little to compensate businesses and individuals that incur injury as a result of anti-competitive conduct. Antitrust regulators on both sides of the Atlantic generally agree that private enforcement is the mechanism best placed to pursue the compensation objective. This short paper, therefore, seeks to explore the issue of indirect purchaser standing to pursue private damages actions and to contribute to the current discussion by comparing the treatment of indirect purchasers in the United States and European Union.