The European Antitrust Review 2011

Germany: Private Antitrust Litigation

01 September 2010

Private antitrust litigation is becoming an increasingly hot topic in Germany. In 2005, the German legislature amended the German Act against Restraints of Competition (ARC), with the specific intention of facilitating private antitrust enforcement. Although private damages actions based on cartel infringements are still not widespread, they have become more common. Examples of recent judgments of German courts in cartel damages cases concern two decisions of the Higher Regional Court Berlin relating to successful damages claims against members of a cement cartel in Berlin1 and the surrounding area, and a decision of the Higher Regional Court Düsseldorf concerning a damages claim against Deutsche Post for abusing its dominant position.2 It is to be expected that follow-on actions will become well established within the German civil law system.