Bloomberg News

Price-Fixing Victims to Gain Power to Sue for Damages in EU Plan

June 11, 2013

The European Union proposed an EU-wide system to allow damages claims from price-fixing victims, in a move that stops short of forcing nations to allow group lawsuits.

Proposals on private enforcement actions will seek to remove practical difficulties that victims frequently face when they try to receive a fair compensation for the damage they have suffered, the European Commission said in an e-mailed statement today.

“The right to claim compensation before national courts exists in all EU member states but businesses and citizens are not always able to exercise it in practice,” Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, said in the statement today. “Today’s proposal seeks to remove these obstacles.”

Private-damages lawsuits are rare in national courts across Europe. The Brussels-based European Commission has championed such lawsuits as a way to compensate victims of illegal monopolies and cartels ranging from plots to fix air-cargo fuel and security surcharges to the price of television tubes.

Under the plans, national courts will have the power to order companies to disclose evidence when victims claim compensation, the commission said.

The commission would also set out “non-binding principles” for group lawsuits, also known as collective redress, according to a separate statement on its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net


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