New act on compensation of damages related to infringement of competition law
On 8 December 2016, the Act on compensation of damages related to the infringement of competition law was presented to Finland's Government. The legislative proposal will also require approval by the President of the Republic on 9 December 2016. This will see a new Act concerning compensation of damages related to the infringement of competition law enter into force. Until now, this topic area has only been covered in one section of the Competition Act and in general provisions within e.g. the Tort Liability Act.
The new Act is significant for enterprises, which can be either a plaintiff or a defendant in cases concerning compensation of damages. The Act on compensation of damages related to the infringement of competition law aims to clarify and ease the raising of claims for damages and their processing, and to ensure that those targeted by infringements of competition law are fully compensated for the resulting damages.
The Act will be applied by Finnish courts in cases related to compensation of damages for the infringement of both EU competition rules and Finland's Competition Act. The proposal clarifies and eases the act of raising claims for damages and their processing, and ensures that those targeted by infringements of competition law are fully compensated for resulting damages. The proposal also clarifies the relation between the implementation of competition rules by a competition authority and the processing of claims for damages in order to improve the effectiveness of the leniency system, which applies to release from penalty fees.
The Government proposes the passage of rules concerning e.g. the damage presumption applying to cartels, the passing on of excessive prices, and the limitation of joint liability and recourse liability for an enterprise that has been released from a penalty fee. In addition, there is a proposal for stipulations on the impact of a decision establishing a violation on the judgement of an infringement of competition law, on interest, on the presentation of evidence, on expiration and the impact of arbitration and an arbitration agreement.
At the same time, the Competition Act will be amended so the terminology in the Act is consistent with that in the Directive.
The Act on compensation of damages related to the infringement of competition law is based on Directive 2014/104/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and on preparation with the Government appointed working group. The Acts will enter into force on 26 December 2016.
Senior Adviser Virve Haapajärvi, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 (0)295 047 027