Q 2023 – Edition 1 and 2

On behalf of the team


The first half of 2023 was an eventful period, particularly in terms of cartel damage.

In the UK, the CAT rendered a decision in which for the first time damages were awarded in the trucks case. Royal Mail and BT Group were reimbursed 5% of their turnover in the relevant period, which amounted to more than GBP 21 million. The CAT had a hard time reaching its decision. On average, 10% was sought, which was disputed by asserting that the percentage should be 0%. The CAT reviewed all the economic reports and simply split the difference. Incidentally, this percentage is quite lower than the percentages previously awarded by courts in Spain and Italy, who decided on 15%.

In the Netherlands, the first six months were all about jurisdiction. After the Sumal and Enel Court of Justice judgments, it has become clear that not only a parent company that is an addressee of a Commission Decision, but also subsidiaries that are not addressees of the Commission Decision, can be liable for the damage caused by an infringement of competition law if they form a single “undertaking” together with the parent company. The question that has now arisen in various cases is whether the Dutch court has jurisdiction if the fined parent company has its registered office abroad and to what extent the liability must already be assessed in the decision on jurisdiction. This question was raised in no fewer than six Dutch cases, with varying results.

In the meantime, both the Amsterdam Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court have referred questions to the European Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling. It can be deduced from the questions posed by both bodies that they expect to have broad jurisdiction. If this also follows from the answers given by the Court of Justice, this may lead to more efficient legal proceedings, as the injured parties do not have to litigate in various jurisdictions. This may also lead to an even more prominent position of the Netherlands in the European cartel damage landscape.

Hans Bousie, Sophie van Everdingen and Tessel Bossen