Joining the international battle against cartels
Cartels can appear in all areas of the economy. As long as there is competition, there is also the risk of collusions, which can then negatively impact on both customers and competitors.
The aim of the ECDA is to provide victims of cartels with the advice they need in terms of opportunities and risk, and to support them in enforcing their claims. To do so, a collection of law firms from across Europe have come together, allowing them to use their antitrust law expertise in a more collaborative way.
Often, victims of cartels don’t realise they have been affected by price-fixing agreements. In order to combat this, ECDA members, such as ourselves, will look out for potential cartel structures and highlight them early on. This ensures businesses are alerted as soon as possible about their entitlement to claim damages and can plan to secure their claims quickly. The ECDA is also available to give both legal advice and further assistance, should a case be brought to court.
James Woolstenhulme, partner in the commercial disputes team at law firm, Shakespeare Martineau, said: ‘By working together, we are able to take advantage of improved collaboration as well as the different places of jurisdiction. This allows us to handle cases with a pan-European dimension in a flexible manner and provide advice at a cross-border level.’
Professor Christian Held, first chairperson of the ECDA and partner of the law firm Becker Büttner Held (BBH), added: ‘Only rarely are cartels purely national constructs, they usually have a European dimension.’
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