Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the EU, UK, and USA

Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the EU, UK, and USA

Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the EU, UK, and USA

Private Enforcement of Antitrust Law in the EU, UK, and USA

Synopsis

This book provides the first detailed examination of how private individuals and companies can enforce their rights under competition law against other private parties in the EU and UK. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the legal basis for private antitrust enforcement both under EC and the new UK law, and of the available procedures and remedies. The book then goes on to systematically survey all of the key issues of law and practice that arise in private antitrust litigation in the USA, such as locus standi, antitrust injury, methods of proof of damage, types of damage for which compensation is recoverable, and the principles of antitrust damage calculation. In each case, the author draws upon his experience of such litigation as a practitioner in the USA to set out detailed practical conclusions as to how the same issues should be addressed in the EU and UK.

Excerpt

There are many reasons why private enforcement of antitrust law has become more important recently in Europe. More and more European States now have antitrust laws, mostly modelled on European Community rules. States with no antitrust law traditions have quickly developed them. the European Commission is now strongly in favour of enforcement of Community antitrust law by national courts and national authorities, and has published two Notices and a book to encourage this. the Congress of the Fédération Internationale de Droit Européen in Stockholm in 1998 discussed national application of Community antitrust law. the authoritative Fordham Corporate Law Institute conferences have discussed it, and the new Florence ec Law conferences. New Member States of the European Union had antitrust authorities and legislation similar to eu rules before they joined, and future Member States have agreed to do so.

The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Community, which requires national courts to give effective remedies for all breaches of Community law, clearly applies to breach by private parties of Community antitrust law. More and more, the prerequisites for effective enforcement of antitrust law at national level are satisfied, and the European Commission is working on proposals to make it more effective, and less centralized. Advocate General Van Gerven in Banks v. British Coal made it clear that civil claims against private parties for compensation are a necessary consequence of broader principles of Community law ([1994] ecr I-1212). the Court of Justice has confirmed this in Guérin (Case C-282/95 [1997] ecr I-1503).

European lawyers were very slow to understand what the Court of Justice said repeatedly about the duty of national courts to protect rights given by Community law: thirty years passed between Humblet and Francovich ((1990) 27 Common Market Law Review, 645, at 653). They should now be quick to see the implications of Francovich for claims against private parties. So the detailed issues discussed in this book will soon arise. As the author says, there is now an impressive potential for antitrust litigation in Europe.

So Clifford Jones' book on private enforcement of antitrust law in the uk, the European Community and the usa is timely and valuable. the usa has a long tradition of private antitrust enforcement, and an important tradition of antitrust economics. From both of these, Europeans can learn much. the uk has recently adopted a new, modern and economics-based Competition Act 1998, and uk

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