Causation in private enforcement of competition law: a comparative analysis of divergent national approaches

Lombardi, Claudio (2015) Causation in private enforcement of competition law: a comparative analysis of divergent national approaches. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Abstract

Competition law damages actions are often characterised by the uncertainty of the causal connection between the infringement and the harm. The anticompetitive damage consists in a pure economic loss caused by a market distortion. Here, the complexity of the market structures, combined with the interdependence of individuals’ assets, fuel this causal uncertainty. The recently adopted Damages Directive, in line with the decisions of the Court of Justice of the EU, established a regime based on the compensatory principle, consequently giving central importance to the definition and to the assessment of the causal connection between the infringement of competition law and the harm suffered. Surprisingly, the Directive provides no guidance to the assessment of the causal connection. By consequence, national courts apply domestic principles of causations, which are deeply rooted in their legal traditions. This thesis first addresses the concept of causation in competition law damages actions, discussing the main and more relevant approaches in tort law theory. Therefore, it describes the different solutions for the assessment of causation in competition law adopted by national courts and critically analyses the approach laid down by the European Union law and Courts. In order to examine in depth the reasons of the causal uncertainty in competition law damages actions, it delves into the analysis of the proof of causation and of the use of econometrics. The underlying comparative analysis serves, from a practical perspective, to observe how judges engage the problem of causal uncertainty in competition damages actions, while, from a theoretical standpoint, it addresses and complements the research of appropriate approaches.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Comparative and European Legal Studies
PhD Cycle:27
Subjects:Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche > IUS/14 DIRITTO DELL'UNIONE EUROPEA
Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche > IUS/01 DIRITTO PRIVATO
Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche > IUS/02 DIRITTO PRIVATO COMPARATO
Area 12 - Scienze giuridiche > IUS/05 DIRITTO DELL'ECONOMIA
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