Passing-on of Overcharges: Will the National Courts Lead the Way Forward?

by Vírgilo Mouta Pereira, Jurist and Collaborating Member of CEDU

This article starts by presenting a description of the passing-on regime enshrined in the Damages Directive. It argues that national judges need an effective toolkit to successfully deal with issues relevant to passing-on, thereby contributing to the ultimate goal of the Damages Directive: to help citizens and undertakings to be compensated if they are victims of infringements of the EU Antitrust rules. Against this background, in the years to come, the courts of the EU Member States are expected to play a crucial role.

I – Introduction

The Directive 2014/104/EU on antitrust damages[1] (hereinafter referred to as “Damages Directive”) seeks to help citizens and undertakings to claim compensation it they are victims of a breach of the EU Antitrust rules. Infringements cause concrete harm and the Directive sets out rules to ensure that anyone who has suffered harm caused by a breach of Articles 101 or 102 TFUE can effectively exercise the right to claim full compensation for that harm[2].

Antitrust law infringements causing an overcharge, i.e. a price increase, can harm not only the direct purchasers of the affected goods or services, but also those who afterwards purchased those goods or services. Quantifying the extent to which an overcharge has been passed on is part of a broader framework: the quantification of harm in competition law. Continue reading “Passing-on of Overcharges: Will the National Courts Lead the Way Forward?”