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Litigating Indirect Purchasers Claims: Lessons for the EU from the U.S. Experience

Michael Hausfeld et al., Antitrust, Fall 2017, Vol 32 No. 1

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There have been significant developments in the last 15 years regarding private enforcement of the European Union antitrust laws, culminating in a Directive issued in November 2014 intended to remove some of the barriers to private antitrust actions in the Member States. The Directive establishes that any person who has suffered harm caused by a competition law infringement, including indirect purchasers, may claim full compensation for that harm. It applies to both follow-on and stand-alone actions. The Directive creates a rebuttable presumption that cartel infringers cause harm; provides for a passing-on defense; establishes a presumption that an overcharge is passed on to indirect purchasers; and allows claims to be brought by indirect purchasers at all levels of the distribution chain.

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