Antitrust: Commission adopts guidelines to help national courts estimate the economic harm caused by cartels


Anyone harmed by an infringement of EU competition law has the right to obtain compensation for such harm. This right is exercised in proceedings before national courts. The European Commission has adopted guidelines to help these national courts estimate the share of price increases caused by a cartel that are passed on to indirect purchasers and final consumers. The adoption of the guidelines, known as the “Passing-on Guidelines” was foreseen in the Antitrust Damages Directive, which helps citizens and companies claim damages if they are victims of infringements of EU antitrust rules. This applies not only to direct customers of companies found participating in cartels, but also to indirect customers and final consumers when the cartel related price increase has been passed on to them. The newly adopted guidelines will assist national courts to decide on the level of such compensation, on a case by case basis. The final version of the guidelines takes into account the views and comments submitted by stakeholders in last year’s consultation on the draft guidelines. Both the Passing-on Guidelines and further information on the quantification of harm in antitrust damages actions are available on the Commission’s dedicated website.