Informations and abstract
Keywords: antitrust, private enforcement, class action, action for damages, K21, K41.
This paper analyses, from a comparative perspective among various national legal systems, the relation between public and private enforcement of antitrust law in Europe, and the major criticalities that, in a number of countries of civil-law tradition, relegate civil claims to a residual role within the overall effort to safeguard competition, and it suggests, where possible, some solutions to make claims for damages simpler and prompter. This article starts with an overview of the European Commission's and the Italian Competition Authority's investigation activity during the last five-year period, comparing it with the data concerning the civil claims actually introduced before the Italian and other Member States courts. Subsequently, the major issues which slow down the development of private enforcement are analyzed, in particular those concerning the proof of damages in civil claims, with particular attention to the proof of the illicit behavior and of the causal link. Finally, a special section is dedicated to the class action as recently introduced in the Italian legal system.