Short Reads

Limburg District Court accepted jurisdiction in damages claim against immunity applicants

Limburg District Court accepted jurisdiction in damages claim against immunity applicants

Limburg District Court accepted jurisdiction in damages claim against immunity applicants

01.04.2015

On 25 February 2015, the District Court of Limburg ("District Court") rendered a judgment on various preliminary issues in an antitrust damage case between Deutsche Bahn and a number of producers of prestressing steel. The judgment confirms that, in general, Dutch courts consider themselves competent to rule on damages claims against all alleged cartel participants, even when they are foreign immunity applicants, if a Dutch "anchor" is amongst the defendants.

In the main proceedings, Deutsche Bahn claimed the defendants, including German immunity applicants DWK and Saarstahl, are liable for any damage they may have caused due to their Article 101 infringement (See Commission Decision COMP/38.344). The defendants filed various preliminary motions, including a motion to declare lack of jurisdiction and a request for disclosure.

The District Court dismissed DWK's and Saarstahl's motion to declare lack of jurisdiction because it found a sufficiently close connection between Deutsche Bahn's claims against Netherlands-based anchor defendants Nedri Spanstaal and Hit Groep on the one hand, and the claims against DWK and Saarstahl on the other. In establishing this close connection, the Court took into consideration that, according to the Commission decision, all defendants  took part in a "single and continuous infringement" of competition law and that they "had a common goal" in carrying out their arrangements.

Furthermore, DWK and Saarstahl argued that under the recently adopted, but not yet implemented, Actions for Damages Directive, immunity applicants such as themselves cannot be held jointly and severally liable for all damage caused by the cartel, but only for damage incurred by their own customers. The District Court rejected this argument, considering that even if it were to accept that the immunity applicants are only liable for damage caused to their own customers, the case against the immunity applicants still had a sufficiently close connection with the claims against the other defendants.

The District Court furthermore dismissed the defendants' request for disclosure of invoice data and assignment deeds of the claims. The District Court ruled that the defendants did not yet have a legitimate interest in disclosure of these documents. Such disclosure would be “premature” as the relevance of these documents in assessing the defendants’ liability will depend on the substantiation of the parties in the main proceedings. 

Team

Related news

10.10.2018 NL law
Ongevraagd advies Raad van State: normering van geautomatiseerde overheidsbesluitvorming

Short Reads - Op 31 augustus 2018 heeft de Afdeling advisering van de Raad van State (hierna: "Afdeling advisering") een 'Ongevraagd advies over de effecten van de digitalisering voor de rechtsstatelijke verhoudingen' betreffende de positie en de bescherming van de burger tegen een "iOverheid" uitgebracht. Het gebeurt niet vaak dat de Afdeling advisering zo een ongevraagd advies uitbrengt. Dit onderstreept het belang van de voortdurend in ontwikkeling zijnde technologie en digitalisering in relatie tot de verhouding tussen de overheid en de maatschappij.

Read more

01.10.2018 EU law
UK Court upholds fine against Ping for online sales ban

Short Reads - On 7 September 2018, the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) upheld the UK Competition and Market Authority's (CMA) decision fining Ping Europe Limited, a manufacturer of golf clubs, for violating EU and UK competition law by prohibiting two UK retailers from selling Ping golf clubs online. While the CAT reduced the fine from £1.45 million to £1.25 million, it confirmed that outright online sales bans in the context of selective distribution agreements are restrictive of competition by object.

Read more

01.10.2018 EU law
Court of Justice refers case against Infineon in relation to smart card chips cartel back to the General Court

Short Reads - On 26 September 2018, the European Court of Justice partially set aside the judgment of the General Court in the smart card chips cartel case. Infineon had argued that the General Court wrongfully assessed only five out of eleven allegedly unlawful contacts. The Court agreed with Infineon insofar as its argument related to the amount of the fine imposed. Philips had also appealed the General Court judgment but that appeal was dismissed in its entirety meaning that the Court of Justice upheld the European Commission's decision and fine.

Read more

01.10.2018 EU law
Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal annuls mail market analysis decision

Short Reads - On 3 September 2018, the Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal (CBb) annulled the market analysis decision regarding 24-hour business mail issued by the Dutch Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on 27 July 2017. In appeal proceedings filed by PostNL, the CBb ruled that the ACM had failed to demonstrate that digital mail was not part of the relevant market for 24-hour business mail.

Read more

26.09.2018 EU law
Algemene bepalingen inzake oneerlijke handelspraktijken wijken voor specifiekere regelgeving

Articles - In geval van strijdigheid tussen de Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken[1] (en bij uitbreiding de omzettingsbepalingen in Boek VI WER) en andere Europeesrechtelijke voorschriften betreffende specifieke aspecten van oneerlijke handelspraktijken, hebben deze laatste voorrang (zie artikel 3, lid 4 van de Richtlijn Oneerlijke Handelspraktijken). Dat dit tot interessante discussies kan leiden, bleek uit een recent arrest van het Hof van Justitie[2].

Read more

Our website uses cookies: third party analytics cookies to best adapt our website to your needs & cookies to enable social media functionalities. For more information on the use of cookies, please check our Privacy and Cookie Policy. Please note that you can change your cookie opt-ins at any time via your browser settings.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring