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The Impact of Alternative Enforcement Procedures Under EC Competition Law on Damages Actions

 |  July 31, 2017

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Impact of Alternative Enforcement Procedures Under EC Competition Law on Damages Actions

By Hugues Parmentier (European Commission)

Abstract:     I took the distance learning Postgraduate Diploma and MA at King’s College London during the academic years 2007/2009.

My dissertation considered the interaction between public and private enforcement of the competition rules, and in particular the implications for private actions of alternative enforcement procedures – i.e. leniency programmes, commitments and settlement procedures.

In the drafting of what would become Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions, this issue raised complex policy problems: the European Commission was, in principle, in favour of more private claims for damages, and did not want a system of settlements to render private actions more difficult.

In 2009, this dissertation took part to the debate: it surveyed a range of evidential, procedural and substantive issues, and expressed opinions on how best to reconcile the settlements procedure and the position of claimants in civil litigation.

In the first part, the dissertation analyses the context in which the studied interaction materializes by: underlining the main goals and characteristics of the three alternative enforcement procedures; emphasizing briefly the main goals and current issues of damages actions; presenting the key recommendations of the Commission White Paper; and assessing the tension between alternative enforcement procedures and .

In the second part, the dissertation analyses and assesses the solutions offered by the Commission White Paper to find a balance between alternative enforcement procedures and private enforcement by: identifying the theoretical and practical obstacles to damages actions that alternative enforcement procedures imply; and assessing, in relation with alternative enforcement procedures, the solutions identified in the Commission White Paper. The proposed solutions were often insufficient to remove obstacles to the development of damages actions

This research was presented and discussed with DG COMP and to university professors.

Member States needed to implement Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages actions in their legal systems by 27 December 2016.

In 2017, the impact of alternative enforcement procedures on damages actions is still being discussed and I have been asked to publish this dissertation to help feeding the reflexion of competition law specialists. I would be delighted if such was the case.

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