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Actions for Damages > Quantification of harm

Overview Damages directive Disclosure of Evidence Collective redress Quantification of harm

Guidance to national courts: Quantification of harm caused by infringements of the EU antitrust rules

In addition to the need for an effective legal framework for compensation, the success of antitrust damages actions and the full compensation of victims will depend on the quantification of the harm suffered by those victims. Quantification is often a difficult exercise through which the exact amount of harm suffered by a victim is established. The complex legal and economic issues involved make this exercise particularly costly and difficult, especially in cases where economic expertise is required. Thus, quantifying antitrust harm has turned out to be one of the major obstacles to compensation of injured parties.

In view of these difficulties, the Commission adopted a Communication on quantifying harm in antitrust damages actions.

In the Communication, the Commission recalls the main existing principles that may help court and parties deal with this issue, such as the requirement that national rules on quantification should not make it excessively difficult or practically impossible to obtain compensation for the harm suffered.

The full text of the Communication will be available in all official languages on Eurlex:

bg cs da de el en es fi fr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl sv pdf

Practical guide

The Commission's Communication on quantification is accompanied by a more comprehensive and detailed Practical Guide drawn up by the Commission's services. The aim of this Practical Guide is to offer assistance to both the national courts, and to the parties involved in actions for damages, by making the information relevant for quantifying the harm caused by antitrust infringements more widely available. The Guide illustrates and offers insights on the types of harm normally caused by anticompetitive practices. On top of that, the Guide offers an overview of the main methods and techniques available to quantify such harm in practice.

The Practical Guide will be available in all EU official languages

bg cs da de el en es fi fr hr hu it lt lv mt nl pl pt ro sk sl svpdf

Study on the Passing-on of Overcharges

Additional quantification guidance will be provided by the Commission in the form of Guidelines for national courts on the passing-on of overcharges. The Commission is assisted in drafting the Guidelines by a Study on the Passing-on of Overcharges. Drawing on relevant economic theory and quantitative methods, as well as relevant legal practice and rules, the study provides judges, legal practitioners and parties to antitrust damages actions with a practical framework for assessing and quantifying passing-on effects. A French Executive summary is available.

Preparatory work

In 2011, the Directorate-General for Competition published for consultation an earlier version of the Practical Guide, under the name of 'Draft Guidance Paper on quantifying harm in actions for damages based on breaches of the EU antitrust rules'.

The preparatory work of the Commission has also greatly benefitted from:

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