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“Cartel Damages Proceedings Run Too Long In Germany!”

 |  October 5, 2022

By: Johannes Heyers (D’Kart)

The plea that antitrust damages proceedings “run too long in Germany” (as Tilman Makatsch rightly put it in LebensmittelZeitung 34/22) has been increasingly read in recent times, if not in direct petitions to the legislator – whoever that may be – but in the social media discourse, which is free of domination, even by defendants’ representatives. The length of proceedings has been sharply observed by them. Perhaps they will also wonder to what this length is due.

Most certainly, cartel damages law is complicated, and one should be wary of simplistic or even polarising statements. But one should not make cartel damages law even more complicated than it already is. There is a strong factual presumption that the complicating strategies in damages litigation were not invented by the (already overburdened) courts, nor by the plaintiffs interested in easy and quick redress. An introductory sentence used by well-known defendants’ representatives in many pleadings – in whatever cartel – in response to a rather terse but conclusive antitrust damages claim was: “It’s not that simple.”