The Commission adopted a proposal for a Directive on how citizens and companies can claim damages when they are victims of infringements of the EU antitrust rules, such as cartels and abuses of dominant market position. Although the right for all victims of antitrust infringements to be compensated for the harm suffered has been recognized in the European Court of Justice’s legal practice, only few victims actually manage to obtain compensation due to procedural obstacles and legal uncertainty. The proposed Directive aims to remove these obstacles, making it easier for whoever has been harmed by competition law infringement to effectively obtain damages throughout the EU, as well as to facilitate full and fair compensation for victims once a public authority has found and sanctioned an infringement. The proposal sets out a number of measures to facilitate damages actions. For instance, the Commission proposes that national courts will have the power to order companies to disclose evidence when victims claim compensation. Further, the Commission proposes that decisions of national competition authorities finding an infringement will automatically constitute proof before national courts of all Member States that the infringement occurred. Furthermore, rules regarding claim periods as well as rules concerning liability in cases where price increases due to an infringement are "passed on" along the distribution or supply chain will be clarified. Finally, the Commission proposes that rules to facilitate consensual settlements will be put in place so as to allow a faster and less costly resolution of disputes. The proposal for a Directive will now be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. Once it has been adopted by these institutions, Member States will have two years to implement the provisions in their legal systems. Source: Commission Press Release 11/6/2013