It has become a key tenet of the European Commission’s enforcement philosophy that greater private enforcement of competition law will achieve the dual policy goals of deterring infringement and delivering redress and, in so doing, will complement public enforcement. To that end, successive commissioners at the Directorate General (DG) for Competition have sought to propose legislation designed to make it easier to commence litigation based on competition law. Unlike his predecessor, whose attempt is thought to have foundered due to political resistance to collective litigation, Vice-President Joaquín Almunia appears more likely to succeed in pushing through draft legislation that, at the time of writing, is going through the EU’s legislative procedure. While this proposal does not itself tackle the controversial topic of collective litigation, it does form part of the same package as the Commission’s recommendation of June 2013, which called on all Member States to introduce mechanisms for collective redress.
This article was first published in The Public Competition Enforcement Review, 6th edition (published in April 2014). Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd.