Collective actions in a competition law context –reconciling multilayer interests to enhance access to justice?

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Introduction. Collective actions contribute to access to justice. This has been explained by referring to their capacity to ‘“provide a real remedy” to those in the community who individually have uneconomically viable claims, but where overall, the total amount at issue was significant’. When individuals who share an interest are unified, collective actions will make it easier for them to recover the losses from damage sustained. Bringing together these individuals allows for sharing ‘the huge burden of complicated law suits’, for which various costs may have to be made. These costs will be disproportionate to the damages received by any individual alone, but not to the damages received by the pool of individuals. A similar reasoning has been introduced in the White Paper on Damages Actions for Breach of the EC Antitrust Rules (White Paper), a document in which the European Commission has taken the initiative to introduce several forms of collective action, more specifically on representative actions and opt-in collective actions. Besides aiming at strengthening the enforcement of European competition law, the Commission stated that collective actions would make ‘it easier for consumers and firms that have suffered damage from an infringement of competition law to recover their losses from the infringer.’

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollective Actions
Subtitle of host publicationEnhancing Access to Justice and Reconciling Multilayer Interests?
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781139109383
ISBN (Print)9781107021549
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


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