Private Enforcement of Antitrust

Private Enforcement of Antitrust

Regulating Corporate Behaviour through Collective Claims in the EU and US

Arianna Andreangeli

Through the expert assessment of the US federal courts’ case on competition law, alongside that of domestic Europe, Arianna Andreangeli provides a fresh response to the issues surrounding collective litigation. The discussion is skillfully placed in the wider context of competition enforcement, whilst at the same time exploring both past and present trends. The book concludes that collective litigation of competition claims must strike a “fair balance” between respecting rules of due process and ensuring fuller access to justice.

Chapter 2: Rule 23 FRCP: “aggregating” individual antitrust claimants in “diffuse injury” cases – the certification criteria of “commonality”, predominance and superiority and the obligation to serve notice

Arianna Andreangeli

Subjects: law - academic, competition and antitrust law


This chapter seeks to analyse the way in which Rule 23 FRCP “aggregates” individual antitrust claims into a collective lawsuit. After giving a brief overview of the nature, rationale and function of class actions generally, it will illustrate the approach adopted by the US Federal Courts to the requirements for class certification in antitrust cases and will focus on the requirements of “commonality” in terms of the relevant questions of fact and of law, of the predominance of “common” over individual issues and of the superiority of the class action over other methods of dispute resolution. Thereafter, it will consider the importance of the obligation to give notice of impending actions to the prospective class members, for the purpose of allowing them, if they so wish, to “opt out” of the class that has been certified, especially in light of the res judicata effect arising from the judgment (or from the settlement) vis-à-vis all class members, whether “absent” or not. It will be argued that this type of class action constitutes a suitable tool with which to effectively “mobilize” individual plaintiffs, who would not otherwise have “their day in court”, due to the limited amount of their claim, by aggregating these small lawsuits into larger collective ones that can, therefore, be pursued in the respect of principles of judicial economy and efficiency.

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