Britned Development V ABB: Are There Lessons to Be Learned on the Use of Economics and Econometrics in Cartel Damages?

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On 9 October 2018, the High Court of England and Wales handed down a landmark judgment in BritNed Development v ABB.2 This was the first cartel follow-on damages claim to reach judg- ment on the merits in the UK. The claim stemmed from a decision by the European Commission (EC) in 2014, which found that 11 companies (including ABB) colluded at a global level between 1999 and 2009 in the supply of underground and submarine high-voltage power cables (the cartel). Following on from this decision, BritNed, a joint venture between the UK and the Dutch elec- tricity grid operators, filed a €180 million claim against ABB alleging that ABB had overcharged BritNed for the interconnector (a submarine electric cable system connecting the Netherlands with England) it procured in 2007.