Previous business/academic article Next business/academic article
Academic Articles Awards > Private Enforcement

Suppliers to a sellers’ cartel and the boundaries of the right to damages in U.S. versus EU competition law

Eckart Bueren and Florian Smuda, European Journal of Law and Economics, November 21, 2017

See Florian Smuda's resume See Eckart Bueren's resume

Vote for this articleHelp

* Average
** Interesting
*** Good
**** Excellent
***** Must receive an Award!

Please note that the star(s) appearing on the article page before you have voted reflect the status of all votes registered to date.

Readers’ vote will close on February 9, 2018. Readers’ vote will allow you to nominate 1 article for each of the Awards, i.e., 10 Academic articles, 10 Business articles, and the best Soft Laws. The readers’ short-list of Academic and Business Articles will be communicated to the Board together with the 20 articles nominated by the Steering Committees. The Board will decide on the award-winning articles. Results will be announced at the Awards ceremony to take place in Washington DC on the eve of the ABA Antitrust Spring Meeting on April 10, 2018.

Click here to read the full article online

While customer damage claims against price-cartels receive much attention, it is unresolved to what extent other groups that are negatively affected may claim compensation. This paper focuses on probably the most important one, suppliers to a downstream sellers’ cartel. The paper first identifies three economic effects that determine whether suppliers suffer losses due to a cartel by their customers. We then examine whether suppliers are entitled to claim net losses as damages in the U.S. and the EU, with exemplary looks at England and Germany, delineating the boundaries of the right to damages in the two leading competition law jurisdictions. We find that, while the majority view in the U.S. denies standing, the emerging position in the EU approves of cartel supplier damage claims. We show that this is consistent with the ECJ case law and in line with the new EU Damages Directive. From a comparative law and economics perspective, we argue that more generous supplier standing in the EU compared to the U.S. is justified in view of the different institutional context and the goals assigned to the right to damages in the EU. We demonstrate that supplier damage claims are also practically viable by showing how supplier damages can be estimated econometrically.

Download our brochure