Chapter 2: Collective redress – (too) great expectations?
This chapter considers issues related to collective redress for harm suffered as a consequence of competition law infringements. The chapter examines both the European Commission’s Recommendation on Collective Redress of June 2013 and relevant national practice in Europe. The theoretical elements behind the need for collective redress are discussed, and the likely impact of the Recommendation is questioned on various grounds. It is found that collective redress as envisaged may have an impact in a subset of cases, in other words, where individual damages are large enough to motivate victims to opt in or to initiate collective actions themselves (but not so large as to limit the benefits to be gained from sharing costs and risks due to the additional costs of collective proceedings and, in the case of opting in, due to the loss of control over the litigation). In other cases, especially where damages are relatively small, it is unclear that the Recommendation, taking account of its own provisions but also in the light of other pertinent instruments such as the Damages Directive of 2014, is capable of stimulating collective actions for compensation. In order to craft the right combination of elements to stimulate adequate compensation claims, it is suggested that Member States should experiment with a range of solutions so that compared outcomes may serve as a basis for improved instruments a few years hence.
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