While the EU is known for imposing skyrocketing fines in cartel cases, there was for a long time very limited damages litigation. Damages claims have however started mushrooming over the past few years, with most of the “action” concentrated in a few EU Member States. This recent growth in cartel damages litigation has triggered, or at least exacerbated, some concerns regarding its interplay with public enforcement. To tackle these concerns, the European Commission has been seeking to introduce EU legislation that would provide prospective plaintiffs with even and effective access to compensation while at the same time preserving the effectiveness of the Commission’s and national competition authorities’ enforcement activities. The Commission is about to “succeed” in its efforts as a Directive on Antitrust Damages Claim will soon be written into law. The present article discusses why the Draft Directive arguably fails to achieve the sought optimum equilibrium between public and private enforcement, and explores potential options that could help attain such equilibrium.
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