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

02.04.2020 NL law
ACM played high stakes and lost: no more fixed network access regulation

Short Reads - The ACM’s failure to meet the requisite standard of proof has led to the fixed networks of Dutch telecom providers KPN and VodafoneZiggo being free from access regulation. The Dutch Trade and Industry Appeals Tribunal ruled that the ACM had failed to demonstrate the existence of collective dominance, and that KPN and VodafoneZiggo would tacitly coordinate their behaviour absent regulation.

Read more

26.03.2020 BE law
​I am suffering significant financial losses as a result of the spread of the corona virus. Is there a possibility of State aid?

Short Reads - COVID-19 brings certain questions to centre stage regarding State aid. In this short read, Peter Wytinck, Sophie Van Besien and Michèle de Clerck discuss the possibility of State aid in case of significant financial losses as a result of the spread of the corona virus.

Read more

02.04.2020 NL law
Claims assigned to a litigation vehicle: who needs to prove what?

Short Reads - Two recent decisions from the Amsterdam Court of Appeal have confirmed that litigation vehicles cannot come empty-handed to the court, and should provide documentation regarding the assignments of claims they submit. The Dutch legal system allows companies and individuals to assign their claims to a “litigation vehicle” or “claims vehicle” that bundles those claims into a single action. In its decisions of 10 March 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled that it is up to litigation vehicles to prove that the assignments can be invoked against the debtor. 

Read more

10.03.2020 NL law
De AVG staat niet in de weg aan de verwerking van persoonsgegevens door een toezichthouder tijdens een bedrijfsbezoek

Short Reads - Bedrijven die met toezicht worden geconfronteerd, zijn gehouden op verzoek van een toezichthouder in beginsel alle informatie te verstrekken. Met de komst van de Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming (AVG) is in de praktijk de vraag opgekomen of een toezichthouder bevoegd is om persoonsgegevens die onderdeel uitmaken van de gevraagde informatie te verwerken.

Read more

02.04.2020 NL law
EU competition policy agenda: full to the brim

Short Reads - The European Commission’s competition policy agenda stretches to 2024 and contains plans for many new or revised rules and guidelines. Recent publications, such as the New Industrial Strategy for Europe, shed more light on the Commission’s initiatives and their possible impact on parties from both inside and outside the European Union (EU). These new initiatives include temporary state aid rules to address the effects of the Corona crisis, consultations on the Block Exemption Regulations, and new measures in respect of (primarily) third-country companies.

Read more

05.03.2020 NL law
CBb confirms: no cartel fine, still interest to appeal cartel decision

Short Reads - Companies can challenge a decision establishing that they committed a competition law violation, even if no fine was imposed on them. The CBb – the highest court for public enforcement of cartel cases – recently confirmed that the absence of a fine does not affect a company’s interest to appeal. Consequently, parent companies held liable for a subsidiary’s cartel infringement can still challenge a cartel decision, irrespective of whether fines were imposed on them separately.

Read more

This website uses cookies. Some of these cookies are essential for the technical functioning of our website and you cannot disable these cookies if you want to read our website. We also use functional cookies to ensure the website functions properly and analytical cookies to personalise content and to analyse our traffic. You can either accept or refuse these functional and analytical cookies.

Privacy – en cookieverklaring