Short Reads

District Court of Amsterdam rules on requests for pre-procedural hearings

District Court of Amsterdam rules on requests for pre-procedural hear

District Court of Amsterdam rules on requests for pre-procedural hearings

01.05.2018 NL law

On 29 March 2018, the District Court of Amsterdam ruled on requests for pre-procedural hearings in relation to the alleged infringements in the two separate cases of Trucks and CRT. This is the first time a Dutch court has ruled on a request for a pre-procedural hearing in follow-on damages cases. The District Court of Amsterdam rejected both requests because it did not consider it likely that a pre-procedural hearing would be useful in either case.

The pre-procedural hearing was introduced relatively recently under Dutch law as an addition to the existing collective settlement procedure. The idea behind it was to simplify and facilitate collective settlement negotiations at an early stage of proceedings with the assistance of a judge. Dutch courts can order a pre-procedural hearing at the request of foundations and associations representing collective interests of parties seeking to receive compensation.

A pre-procedural hearing may serve the purpose of (i) facilitating a collective settlement or, in the absence of a settlement, (ii) a case management hearing to prepare and structure a collective action. According to the District Court, a pre-procedural hearing should only be ordered if there is a reasonable prospect that it will be useful.

The District Court ruled in the cases above that a pre-procedural hearing was unlikely to facilitate a collective settlement. In Trucks, this was because the defendants did not appear willing to negotiate with the claimant about a settlement. In CRT, only one of the defendants had appeared in the proceedings and for this reason the District Court deemed it unlikely that the other defendants would appear in a pre-procedural hearing.

The District Court also ruled that a case management hearing was unlikely to be useful as the claimants in both cases had failed to provide sufficient information for the court to be able to prepare and structure a collective action. Both cases are still in the preliminary phase. The District Court emphasised that the parties should have at least described the main points of the dispute and clearly identified which points the court was being asked to determine.

In the CRT case, the District Court rejected a complaint by the defendant Philips challenging the admissibility of Consumentenbond (Dutch Consumers Association) on the basis it collaborates with an organisation operating a commercial business model. The District Court rejected this complaint stating that Consumentenbond had no commercial incentive.

The two judgments show that requests for pre-procedural hearing are evaluated critically. Dutch courts are only willing to grant a request if there is a reasonable prospect that a pre-procedural hearing will be useful.

This article was published in the Competition Law Newsletter of May 2018. Other articles in this newsletter:

  1. European Court of Justice provides guidance on assessing discriminatory pricing
  2. Germany did not err in extraditing an Italian citizen to the US for a competition law infringement
  3. European Commission imposes record fine on Altice for premature implementation of PT Portugal acquisition
  4. European Commission proposes draft Regulation on online platforms and search engines
  5. Rotterdam District Court quashes cartel fines imposed by the ACM on cold storage operators

 

 

 

Team

Related news

21.06.2019 NL law
Staatssteun: Real Madrid scoort tegen de Europese Commissie

Short Reads - Op 22 mei 2019 heeft het Gerecht van de Europese Unie ("GvEU" of "Gerecht") een besluit van de Europese Commissie over vermeende staatssteun van circa € 18,4 miljoen aan voetbalclub Real Madrid vernietigd. De staatssteun zou volgens de Europese Commissie zijn verleend in de context van een grondtransactie tussen Real Madrid en de gemeente Madrid.

Read more

21.06.2019 EU law
Un nouvel arrêt de la Cour de Justice de l'Union européenne en matière d'évaluation des incidences des plans et des programmes!

Articles - Par un arrêt du 12 juin 2019, la Cour de Justice de l’Union européenne a considéré qu’un arrêté bruxellois qui fixe une zone spéciale de conservation (Natura 2000) est bien un plan ou un programme, mais qui n’est pas nécessairement soumis à une évaluation des incidences sur l’environnement. Au détour de cet arrêt, elle a confirmé certains enseignements de sa jurisprudence antérieure.

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