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Competition News May 2014: European Parliament adopts directive strengthening private enforcement; and more

The European Parliament adopts a directive strengthening private enforcement
After France’s adoption of class actions, it is the European Union’s turn to promote actions for damages for victims of anti-competitive practices (cartels and abuses of dominant position). The draft directive governing actions for damages before national courts for infringements of the competition law provisions of the member states and of the European Union was approved on 17 April 2014 by the European Parliament. The approval by the Council of the European Union, without any modification to the Parliament’s position, will close the legislative procedure at European level. The member states will then have two years to transpose its provisions in their national legal system.

It is recalled that two types of procedures exist for anti-competitive practices: (i) public enforcement by the commission and national competition authorities to sanction the authors of such practices through fines; and (ii) private enforcement initiated by the victims of anti-competitive practices before national courts to obtain compensation for the prejudice resulting from a cartel or abuse of dominant position. The directive primarily concerns the second procedure and would harmonise the national systems of the member states in this matter by establishing a set of common rules that are meant to facilitate actions for damages…

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