Analysis

Update on development of follow-on damages claims: 2000-2018

Below is another update of my overview of the development of follow-on claims from European Commission cartel investigations.

COM cartel cases and follow-on claims 2000-2018.png

(A scalable version can be found here.)

The development since 2015 is dominated by the trucks cartel, in which total fines of € 3.8 billion were imposed. Several follow-on litigations have been filed in multiple EU countries.

Other than that, further car parts cartels were fined by the European Commission, two of which have been followed-on by damages claims in the UK.

In addition, a couple of UK claims following-on from proceedings pre 2015 have come to my attention, which I have updated.

So far, I could not ascertain follow-on claims from the European detergent cartel, fined in 2011. However, interestingly, a consumer claimed damages before a French regional court following from a detergent cartel in France, which was fined by the French Competition Authority in the same year. The claim was dismissed in 2017 on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

If you are aware of any further claims or have a comment regarding one of the depicted claims, please email katharina.sailer@econ-da.com.

Update on development of follow-on damages claims: 2000-2015

An update is now available on my January 2015 overview of the development of follow-on claims after European Commission cartel investigations!

(A scalable version can be found here.)

In 2015, the Commission concluded four actions against horizontal agreements, imposing a total of 349m€ in fines.  The total is much lower than in the previous years. For example, in each of the years 2012-2014 fines were in excess of 1.6 billion €. In addition, the Commission handed down 14.9 million € in fines against a broker in the YIRD cartel. (In the figure, this has been added to the 2013 proceeding.)

Following appeals, the European Courts adjusted the fines in the CRT (2012), banana (North 2011 and South 2008), pre-stressing steel (2010), heat stabilisers (2009), and chloroprene rubber (2007) cartels. It remains to be seen what happens to the fine in the air freight cartel – for now the full amount of 790 m€ has been overturned by the General Court.

Companies again were active in claiming for damages in the UK. They lodged additional claims following the air freight and car class cartels and first claims were seen following the smartcard and power cable cartels. In addition, I added a claim from 2014 following from the refrigerator compressors cartel, which had been missing before. I could not identify any further follow-on claims from Commission cartel proceedings in any other European country.

 

Development of follow-on damages claims from 2000-2014

The following graph shows all horizontal agreements which have been fined by the European Commission between 2000 and 2014 as well as corresponding follow-on claims by European country:

(Click here for a scalable version of the graph.)

I collected the data on the cartel proceedings from the press releases of the European Commission.  Via a google search corresponding follow-on claims were matched. Due to the nature of such a search, the data on follow-on claims should be treated as indicative only.

The data shows that more follow-on claims have been lodged in the middle of the period compared to the early and later periods. In this period we also see a particularly high number of cases which were pursued in several countries. However, the more recent the period, the less accurately the data likely reflects the actual picture, as information on claims might not yet have surfaced or claims are still in preparation.

The data also show, that the UK, the Netherlands and Germany are the preferred jurisdiction to file a suit. 

Finally, the larger the fine, the more likely a follow-on-claim will be lodged.