On behalf of the team

On 30 September 2020, the Regional Court of Dortmund awarded damages in a claim concerning the train tracks cartel. [1]Landgericht Dortmund 30 September 2020, 8 O 115/14 (Kart) This decision is interesting because the Regional Court quantified the (cartel) damage on the basis of its own findings. The court did so because it considered the costs of an expert to be disproportionate in relation to the (suspected) damage in question. The defendants had submitted expert advice themselves, but the Regional Court dismissed it as unreliable. In addition, according to the Regional Court, the conventional method of quantifying (cartel) damage did not apply here due to the special nature of the case. There was, for example, no market that could serve as a comparative market. Consequently, the Regional Court arrived at its own estimate. The price increase due to the cartel was estimated at ‘at least 15%’. The Regional Court based its quantification on factors that also apply in the determination of a cartel fine, such as the cartel’s duration, scope and degree of organisation. The estimated percentage was also felt to be of the same order of magnitude as the percentages to be found in well-known studies on average cartel-related price increases and other decisions of European District Courts. The amount of damages ultimately awarded was approximately € 62,000.