European Commission – Guidelines on estimating overcharges caused by antitrust infringements: Consultation

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On 5 July 2018, the European Commission launched a consultation procedure on the draft guidelines aimed at providing national courts with guidance on how to estimate the overcharges arising from antitrust infringements that are passed on to indirect customers and consumers.

The document builds on article 16 of (EU) directive 2014/104 on actions for damages caused by infringements of antitrust law, which entrusts the European Commission with the task of issuing guidelines for national courts on methods for estimating the share of the overcharge passed on to the indirect customer.

The draft guidelines first of all highlight the legal framework applicable to the passing-on of overcharges, identifying the overcharge-related issues that a judge might face in the event of an action for damages arising from an antitrust infringement. More specifically, the draft guidelines focus on the role of the evidence, as well as on the principles of European law that judges are required to observe when exercising the power of quantifying the passed-on charges. In contrast, the second part of the document addresses the economic theory of the passing-on of overcharges, with a focus on the factors upon which the relevant effects depend (in terms of prices charged and volume of the direct seller’s offer), and the relevant quantifying methods and techniques.

The consultation on the draft guidelines – which will complement the Staff Working Document published by the Commission in 2013 and containing the Practical Guide on quantifying damages arising from antitrust violations – will end on 4 October 2018.

 

Download the document here aside