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

08.08.2019 BE law
Regulating online platforms: piece of the puzzle

Articles - The new Regulation no. 2019/1150 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services, applicable as of 12 July 2020, is another piece of the puzzle regulating online platforms, this time focussing on the supply side of the platforms.

Read more

01.08.2019 NL law
Call of duty: Commission must state reasons when straying from its guidelines

Short Reads - The European Commission has lost a second battle concerning its EUR 15 million fine imposed upon interdealer broker ICAP, this time before the European Court of Justice. The Court upheld the previous judgment of the General Court on the basis of the Commission's failure to state reasons concerning its fining methodology of cartel facilitator ICAP. This may lead to more reasoned Commission decisions in the future - deterrence of cartel behaviour does not justify keeping the methodology for setting the fines as a 'black box'.

Read more

01.08.2019 NL law
General court dismisses all five appeals in the optical disk drives cartel

Short Reads - The General Court recently upheld a Commission decision finding that suppliers of optical disk drives colluded in bids for sales to Dell and HP by engaging in a network of parallel bilateral contacts over a multi-year period. The General Court rejected applicants' arguments regarding the Commission's fining methodology, including that the Commission ought to have provided reasons for not departing from the general methodology set out in its 2006 Guidelines.

Read more

22.07.2019 NL law
HagaZiekenhuis beboet voor datalek

Short Reads - Enkele maanden geleden vierden we de eerste verjaardag van de Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming (AVG) met een uitgebreide beschouwing  over de belangrijkste  ontwikkelingen uit  het eerste jaar van de verordening. We concludeerden daarin onder meer dat de door sommigen voorspelde hoge bestuurlijke boetes voor overtredingen van de AVG tot dan toe  - zowel in Nederland als in de andere EU-lidstaten - grotendeels waren uitgebleven.

Read more

01.08.2019 NL law
Brand owners beware: Commission tough on cross-border sales restrictions

Short Reads - The European Commission recently imposed a EUR 6.2 million fine on Hello Kitty owner Sanrio for preventing its licensees from selling licensed merchandising products across the entire EEA. Sanrio is the second licensor (after Nike) to be fined for imposing territorial sales restrictions on its non-exclusive licensees for licensed merchandise. A third investigation into allegedly similar practices by Universal Studios is ongoing. The case confirms the Commission's determination to tackle these practices, regardless of type or form.

Read more

17.07.2019 BE law
EU Single-Use Plastics Directive is now in force: brief recap

Articles - Plastic is a significant and growing global concern. A recent study commissioned by WWF and carried out by the University of Newcastle, Australia, suggests that people are consuming around 2,000 tiny pieces of plastic every week (which is approximately 5 grams of plastic, the weight of a credit card).  In this context, the EU adopted a new directive aiming at tackling marine litter generated from 10 single-use plastic products and from abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics. This is called the Single-Use Plastics Directive and has entered into force this month, on 2 July 2019.

Read more

Our website uses functional cookies for the functioning of the website and analytic cookies that enable us to generate aggregated visitor data. We also use other cookies, such as third party tracking cookies - please indicate whether you agree to the use of these other cookies:

Privacy – en cookieverklaring