Actions for Damages under Competition Law (Directive)

EU competition law is enforced by competition authorities who find infringements of competition law and, where applicable, impose fines, and by victims who bring actions for damages before national courts. With this Directive, the Commission is seeking, on the one hand, to ensure that victims of an infringement of competition law throughout the EU are able to enforce their right to full damages. On the other hand, it wants to ensure the coordination of enforcement by way of actions for damages and enforcement by way of the competition authorities.


Facilitating the enforcement of actions for damages in the case of infringements of competition law discourages potential wrongdoers, strengthens society's confidence in the legal system and increases the incentive for victims to uncover potential cartels. However, the rules on disclosure orders can lead to unjustified claims because the term "category" of evidence is too imprecise. In addition, the rule that the leniency recipient, who has been granted immunity from fines, is only liable to its victims makes actions for damages more difficult and is not necessary to maintain the incentive for leniency recipients to report cartels to the competition authority.