The Role of Collective Redress Actions to Achieve Full Compensation for Violations of European Union Competition Law
- Tuesday 23 April 2019
2311 GJ Leiden
- Prof. T.R Ottervanger
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In 2016, the European Union adopted the Directive on damages actions. Its main objective is to ensure that any victim who has suffered harm caused by antitrust infringement can effectively exercise the right to claim and obtain full compensation. With regard to mass harm situations, it is worth noting that the Directive does not include provisions on collective redress actions, which may have significant impact on the achievement of full compensation. Instead, the non-binding Recommendation on collective redress was adopted, which has brought hardly any development in antitrust collective litigation in the EU.
To sum up, the aim of this dissertation has been to assist in the development of an appropriate approach of antitrust collective redress for better achievement of full compensation. For this purpose, two private antitrust enforcement models were compared: the deterrence-based one in the United States and the compensation-oriented one in the European Union. It was found that collective redress actions would contribute to achieving full compensation only if US style deterrence-based measures were allowed in the EU context. However, even if the best possible collective redress mechanism was introduced, the impact on full compensation would be limited, as the achievement of this objective requires fulfilling very high standards. Nevertheless, collective actions should not be denied, because they allow vulnerable victims to defend their rights in courts. Wrongdoers target these victims, as due to the low value harm, individual litigation becomes financially irrational.
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