A new study produced for the Commission by a group of lawyers principally from White & Case and the economic consultancy Oxera has proposed a range of models to help national courts calculate the price tag of antitrust activity in damages actions. While it tacitly states that a typical cartel may lead to a 10-20% overcharge, the study exposes the complexity of the issue and its conclusions will only be one contribution to the Commission’s final guidance to judges.

The study looked at how to quantify damages in claims against cartelists and companies who had abused a dominant position. The study sought to produce a general framework for judges and in doing so suggested a number of models to be used which would look at how the market would be in the absence of the cartel or abusive behaviour. These models would therefore demonstrate the affect the transaction had on the markets.

The Commission is taking further submissions from judges, lawyers and other interested parties before giving its guidance.

19 January 2010