Latest EU ruling on cartel file disclosure to potential claimants for antitrust damages

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The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) yesterday issued an important judgment on the rights of potential claimants for antitrust damages to access cartel leniency documents that are held on the file of an antitrust authority (Case C-536/11 — Bundeswettbewerbsbehörde v Donau Chemie AG and others). The CJEU held that an Austrian law that prohibits third-party access to the Austrian Cartel Court’s files in competition law proceedings absent the parties’ consent was not compatible with EU law.

This judgment provides additional guidance on the correct interpretation of the CJEU’s Pfleiderer judgment (Case C-360/09), and rules on how far EU national law can go in striking a balance between maintaining effective antitrust law leniency programmes and facilitating follow-on damages actions…

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