Friday, April 25, 2014
Dorothy Hansberry, Christina Hummer, Morvan Le Berre and Melanie Leclerc discuss Umbrella Effect: Damages Claimed by Customers of Non-cartelists Competitors.
ABSTRACT: With the swelling of private actions for competition law infringements in Europe, a new category of applicants has appeared: customers of non-cartelist suppliers who claim to have suffered harm from the effect of market-wide price increases resulting from cartels. In the United States, this type of action is already known and the judicial courts have adopted a pragmatic approach to deal with it. In Europe, the development of such actions seems compromised in several EU Member States due to the limitations of civil liability rules and in particular that of the causal link between the anticompetitive practice and the harm. However, a separate question has appeared regarding the relationship between these actions and the principle of effectiveness of EU law—a preliminary referral in the context of civil litigation following the elevator cartel case is currently pending before the European Court of Justice whose decision is expected in 2014.