Title: Private enforcement of EU Competition Law between public and private issues

Authors: Vincenzo Carbonelli

Addresses: Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, P.zza Martiri della Libertà, 33 – 56127, Pisa, Italy

Abstract: This work underlines some of the main issues that Member States face in attempting to reconcile national tort law systems with EU goals in competition law. As a matter of fact, the very notion of private enforcement tends to achieve two different purposes: on the one hand, corrective justice and, on the other hand, a functional system of deterrence (§ 1). This difference between public and private aims could determine diverse misconstructions (§ 2), since social losses are not always the cause of private losses (§§ 3-4). In particular if private actions are indeed meant to propel protection of market fairness by conferring upon private citizens the role of 'private attorney general', as in the USA, compensation-based tort law systems seem ineffective. Moreover, it is not even correct to justify the private enforcement of antitrust discipline through an incoherent increase of consumer protection (§ 5), but it is necessary that Member States adopt special legislation on this point.

Keywords: competition law; tort law; antitrust discipline; consumer protection; private enforcement; European Union; EU; public issues; private issues; member states; legal systems; corrective justice; functional systems; deterrence; public aims; private aims; diverse misconstructions; social losses; private losses; private actions; market fairness; private citizens; attorney generals; USA; United States; compensation; special legislation; damages; European Commission; EC; antitrust rules; public law; public policy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPLAP.2012.049335

International Journal of Public Law and Policy, 2012 Vol.2 No.4, pp.335 - 351

Received: 08 May 2021
Accepted: 12 May 2021

Published online: 30 Aug 2012 *

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