Economic and Legal Aspects of the Planned Damages Actions for Breaches of Ec Antitrust Law

By Isac, Elena | Romanian Journal of European Affairs, September 2010 | Go to article overview

Economic and Legal Aspects of the Planned Damages Actions for Breaches of Ec Antitrust Law


Isac, Elena, Romanian Journal of European Affairs


Abstract:

This paper investigates the planned damages actions for breaches of EC antitrust law in order to assess their impact on consumer welfare. It first examines the current legal situation and concurs that the European Union needs to regulate damages actions for breaches of EC antitrust law so that a higher number of consumers could be compensated for their losses. This paper then discusses the main legal provisions proposed by the Commission in the Green and in the White paper on damages actions for breaches of EC antitrust law. The analysis of these proposed legal provisions is done using arguments specific to the economic analysis of law. It is demonstrated that most of these proposed legal provisions will enhance consumer welfare but that there are also proposed legal provisions which will damage consumer welfare. The paper concludes that the planned damages actions for breaches of the EC law will be an improvement compared to the current situation. However, the Commission should amend some of the proposed legal provisions in order to help consumers further.

Keywords: antitrust law, White Paper, EC law, consumer welfare

INTRODUCTION

Competition policy is one of the main areas of European Union law because it affects every citizen and undertaking in the European U nion since they are all consumers. The role of competition law is to ensure that competition between several undertakings exists on the market. Competition is beneficial for all types of consumers because it ensures a greater choice of products and lower prices. If only one undertaking were present on a market, that undertaking would decrease its production in order to increase prices and thus obtain a monopolistic profit which would harm consumers. Due to this wide impact, breaches of EC competition law harm a great number of consumers and thus decrease consumer welfare. The damage done to consumer welfare by breaches of EC competition law is difficult to measure but the Commission publishes estimates. For example, in the period 2005 - 2007, the economic harm caused to consumers by cartels was estimated to amount to 7.6 billion euros1. The problem is that the victims of these infringements are rarely compensated for their losses2. In order to change this, the Commission has proposed to regulate damages actions for breaches of EC antitrust law at the European Union level.

Enhancing consumer welfare is one of the reasons for regulating competition law in the European Union3. Allowing consumers to introduce damages actions for breaches of EC antitrust rules and to be compensated for their losses is in accordance with this objective. However, there is no standardized way of regulating these actions and thus the Commission must choose between several options available for each legal aspect. This paper will investigate the impact on consumer welfare of the choices proposed by the Commission. The importance of this topic at the present time is given by the fact that the consultation process has ended and the Commission is planning to introduce a legislative proposal. This legal act will affect millions of consumers and, depending on its provisions, the consumers might be better or worse off than before its adoption. Due to space limitations, this paper will provide only an overview look of the proposed changes and their implications without analyzing every legal provision and its effect. The method used is the analysis of legal documents, in particular the Green and the White Paper published by the Commission, using arguments specific to the economic analysis of law. It will be shown that the planned damages actions for breaches of the EC law will be an improvement compared to the current situation. However, the Commission should amend some of the proposed legal provisions in order to help consumers further.

In order to answer the research question, the first part of the paper looks at the actual content of the EC antitrust rules and the current legal provisions and principles applicable to damages actions for breaches of these provisions. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Economic and Legal Aspects of the Planned Damages Actions for Breaches of Ec Antitrust Law
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.