EU Commission can bring follow-on actions for damages on behalf of the EU in cartel cases

On 6 November 2012, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that the European Commission was entitled to represent the European Union in an action for damages before national courts. The CJEU ruled that the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union did not prevent the Commission from taking an action for damages against the cartel participants for harm suffered by the European Union as a result of anti-competitive behaviour that the Commission had already sanctioned by rendering an infringement decision. Companies should therefore bear in mind that the Commission is no longer just the investigator, prosecutor and judge of a cartel, but also a potential damages claimant.

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