Dr Pinar Akman Presents her Competition Law Research in Brussels
Dr Pinar Akman, an Associate Professor at the School of Law, presented her research at the 9th Annual Conference of the Global Competition Law Centre (College of Europe) in Brussels.
The conference, entitled ‘Antitrust Damages in EU Law and Policy’, took place on 7-8 November and was attended by over 100 participants. The key note speech was delivered by Joaquin Almunia, the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner responsible for competition. The conference concerned the private enforcement of EU competition law and in particular the draft proposal for a Directive by the European Commission (11.6.2013, COM(2013) 404 final), currently being debated at the European Parliament and Council.
Dr Akman presented her research on the period of limitations in follow-on competition cases. Her research demonstrates that in private competition actions which follow on from infringement decisions of a competition authority like the European Commission, the applicable period of limitations in case of multiple infringers, some of whom appeal the infringement decision and some of whom do not, represents a complicated mix of EU and national law. Dr Akman’s presentation argued that this is particularly the case where the finding of infringement is binding on the national court (which is currently the case in the UK and will be the case in all Member States if the Directive is adopted in its current form). Dr Akman argued that the legal problem results from the fact that some of the infringers who appeal can get an annulment or similar outcome as a result of the appeal which would not be applicable to the legal position of an addressee who has not appealed. This can cause the non-appealing addressee to pay damages for an infringement (eg a cartel agreement) that legally did not exist. Dr Akman proposed some suggestions which can alleviate the problem.
The subject matter of Dr Akman’s research is currently to be decided by the UK Supreme Court in the ongoing litigation in Deutsche Bahn v Morgan Crucible. Dr Akman’s research paper, entitled ‘Period of Limitations in Follow-On Competition Cases: The Elephant in the Room?’, is available to read online.