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Damage claims for antitrust law 31/03/2014 The EU is looking at new rules that will facilitate damage claims by victims of antitrust violations.

Damage claims for antitrust law

EU moves to create new rules that will facilitate damage claims by victims of antitrust violations have taken a step forward. Last week the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives endorsed an agreement on the issue between the Hellenic Presidency of the Council and European Parliament representatives.

The proposed new directive will harmonise and ensure the effective enforcement of antitrust damages rules within the EU, thereby allowing the victims of a cartel to receive full compensation for both the actual loss suffered and for lost profits.

While the right to full compensation is guaranteed by the EU treaty, the practical exercise of this right is often rendered difficult or practically impossible because of the applicable rules and procedures. Despite recent improvements in a few member states, to date most victims of infringements of EU competition rules in practice do not obtain compensation for the harm suffered.

The new measures also seek to improve the efficiency of leniency programmes, whereby an undertaking confesses its participation in a cartel in return for immunity from or a reduction of the fine.

The agreement has still to be formalised by the European Parliament and the Council separately.

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