On 18 March 2014, MEPs and European Council representatives agreed on the terms of a new proposed directive on antitrust damages. The measure, which is expected to become law before the European elections in May 2014, is intended to make it easier for victims of cartel activity to claim compensation.
The main changes to the law will be that:
Decisions of national competition authorities will constitute full proof before civil courts that the infringement occurred.
Clear limitation period rules will be established.
Victims will be able to obtain full compensation for lost profits as well as actual loss suffered.
A rebuttable presumption that cartels cause harm will be established, and
- Victims will have easier access to evidence to pursue cases.
Joaquín Almunia, the European Commissioner for Competition, said: “This directive will remove the barriers that currently prevent the victims of antitrust infringements in the EU from obtaining effective compensation. At the same time, it will ensure an adequate and balanced interaction between actions for damages and the effective public enforcement of competition law by the Commission and national competition authorities.”