The European Commission has for some time viewed private enforcement of competition law as a necessary – though largely absent – complement to its enforcement activities. For the Commission, more follow-on damages actions would achieve the dual policy goals of deterring potential infringers and delivering redress to those harmed by infringements. There are, however, reasons to believe that, in the long run, the existing framework for public enforcement cannot easily coexist with extensive court-based private enforcement or, at any rate, will not efficiently lead to the achievement of the Commission’s policy goals.
This article was first published in The Public Competition Enforcement Review, 5th edition (published in May 2013). Reproduced with permission from Law Business Research Ltd.