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06 April 2017
The EU Cartel Damages Directive (2014/104/EU) was passed on November 26 2014 and should have been transposed into national law by December 27 2016. However, its implementation in Austria was somewhat delayed, as was the case in other European countries.
On February 28 2017 the Council of Ministers approved the bill to amend the Cartel Act and the Competition Act. Once it is passed by the federal Parliament, the bill will enter into force on May 1 2017. The law will significantly amend Austrian cartel law, primarily facilitating private enforcement of cartel damages for consumers and enterprises alike. While Austrian law has included some of these elements since 2013, the implementation of the directive goes far beyond those implemented.
The most important points introduced by the directive are as follows:
There are also new interesting developments outside the implementation on the Cartel Damages Directive:
The legal framework in cartel law – in particular relating to cartel damage cases – will be changed considerably both for potential plaintiffs and defendants. The number of cartel damage cases is expected to rise. However, legal problems will not necessarily be reduced. Further, the number of mergers requiring notification will potentially increase. Although the new threshold is aimed at digital industries, the wording covers all areas and the criteria of "significant Austrian activity" remains somewhat ambiguous.
For further information on this topic please contact Dieter Hauck at Preslmayr Attorneys at Law by telephone (+431 533 16 95) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Preslmayr Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at www.preslmayr.at.
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