Redress for breaches of competition law

Why would such a review of the CMA website be of any relevance or benefit to you or your business?

If there has been an investigation in a sector relevant to your business, and an infringement decision, your business (and any individual) may have a right to bring a legal claim for breaches of competition law.

For example, the MoD made a claim in damages against British Airways plc: the MoD claimed that when purchasing long-haul flights between two airports from British Airways, it had been overcharged due to collusion between British Airways and Virgin Atlantic as to fuel surcharge pricing. British Airways had been fined £58.5million following a decision by the authorities finding breach of competition law. The MoD's action was subsequently withdrawn after the action was settled.

Legislation is in place which allows a claim to be brought by individuals and businesses to seek damages where harm has been suffered as a result of competition law being infringed. If the CMA, the competition regulator, or another European competition authority has made a decision that competition law has been breached then any claimant does not have to prove the breach, and can proceed with a claim in the UK courts for redress.

Any claims for breach of competition law must generally be commenced within a period of six years from the date the claimant suffered the loss. The claimant will have to present evidence, and prove how much loss has been suffered. For example, Peugeot SA is claiming damages against a number of European and Japanese companies arising from a cartel in the automotive bearings sector (fines totalling in excess of €953million were imposed), and argued that it was overcharged, and thereby suffered loss. The judgment is awaited.

As stated by the CMA, “where individuals or businesses, including customers and competitors, suffer harm due to others breaking competition law they are entitled to seek redress including compensation for any loss ..."

Have you or your business suffered such a loss?  If so, seek specialist legal advice to consider commencing your own claim.

For help and advice on competition law issues, please contact David Patterson.

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