Edited by Albert A. Foer and Jonathan W. Cuneo
Daan Lunsingh Scheurleer, Herman Speyart, Flip Wijers and Joost Fanoy1 Introduction As in most countries, adherence to competition law is enforced in the Netherlands through public enforcement by the European Commission or the Dutch Competition Authority (Nederlandse Mededingingsautoriteit, hereinafter NMa), and through private damages claims before civil courts. National Dutch competition law, which is laid down in the Dutch Competition Act (DCA), is largely copied from European legislation. The mechanisms for private enforcement, however, are not; it follows from European case law that the private enforcement of competition law is expressly left to the Member States. Historically, the private enforcement of claims based on infringement of competition rules has not been widespread in the Netherlands. That changed somewhat following the introduction of the DCA in 1998, but that led to only a limited increase in such claims. To date, such claims are still scarce. An often used explanation for this scarcity is that it is rather complicated to establish the amount and scope of the damage suffered and to provide sufficient proof of such damage. 1. How does a damages action case get started? a. Meeting clients and ethical restrictions A plaintiff’s attorney can identify clients with potential antitrust claims in a number of ways, depending upon the specific circumstances of the case. If an antitrust violation has been established in a competition authority decision with respect to companies supplying specific sectors or clients, it is easy to identify potential claimants, either directly or through an industry sector organization. If...
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