KNect365 is part of the Knowledge and Networking Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Informa

Not Outsourcing Your Antitrust Damage Claim – An Efficient Use Of Resources?

Is it an efficient use of resources for a company damaged by a cartel to pursue a claim on its own rather than outsourcing the enforcement to a third party with the special experience and expertise necessary to successfully pursue antitrust damage claims?

Particularly for small to medium sized enterprises outsourcing is often the only viable option. Large multinationals on the other hand have a realistic choice of whether or not to pursue an action on their own. Damage actions relating to infringements of competition law require essential in-house legal, economic and IT expertise in addition to sufficient funding and market-wide data. Even with all these prerequires fulfilled it might be advantageous for a large multinational to outsource its damage claim, as the process further increases chances of realising fair compensation:

Outsourcing frees up key resources to concentrate on core business

Claiming antitrust damages is a very complex, expensive and lengthy process requiring the investment of significant time and resources over several years to bring a case to a fruitful resolution. A damaged company deciding against outsourcing its claims enforcement must allocate considerable human resources and funds to take the claim to court, often also the only way to obtain a fair settlement.

However, from a damaged company’s perspective it would likely be more efficient to use those resources to innovate, develop new products or services, expand its business, and concentrate on being one step ahead of the competition. After all, claiming antitrust damages is not its core competence. Companies investing resources, whether they are human or financial, into non-core business activities frequently find the quality of their core activities suffer as the business grows. Outsourcing claims for antitrust damages frees up key resources to focus on primary business activities.

Incur no costs in running the case

In addition to freeing up resources, outsourcing antitrust damage claims incurs zero costs. With other types of outsourcing a company would usually pay for a product or service to be provided by an external partner but with the outsourcing of antitrust damage claims there are generally no costs. In fact, all costs such as fees relating to lawyers, economists, funders, adverse cost orders etc. are all normally covered by the external provider. In the event of success, the external provider receives a pre-determined fee and in the event the case would be unsuccessful the external provider bears all the costs, while the damaged company is not liable for anything.

Decreases risk exposure  

By outsourcing antitrust damage claims to a specialised claims enforcer instead of taking an action by itself, a damaged company will reduce its risk exposure meaning the company is, for example, not exposed to potential procedural cost orders. Also by outsourcing to an experienced and skilled partner, a damaged company reduces the risk of having tasks done in-house by people who may perhaps be less competent in their field than those working with the expert service provider.

Summary

Outsourcing antitrust damage claims makes a lot of sense even for large multinational companies with a plethora of internal expertise and considerable access to funding and data. By outsourcing the damage claims to a specialised external provider, a damaged company will free up internal resources enabling it to concentrate on its core business and competing with its competitors. Outsourcing also removes its exposure to, for example, adverse cost orders and other unforeseen risks. The damaged company does not incur any of the costs associated with running the case and at the same time keeps most of the awarded compensation except for a pre-determined fee which is only paid upon a successful outcome.

Pádraic Burke, CDC, 06.11 Martin Seegers, Cartel Damage Claims, Competition Law Blog
Pádraic Burke is an economist at Cartel Damage Claims (CDC), a company with offices in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg specialising in follow-on damages actions related to breaches of EU or national competition law. Pádraic holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), a Master of Science Degree in Business Economics from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (KUL) in Belgium, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. In his role at CDC, Pádraic is responsible for the data and economic analysis in ongoing and potential future cases including the assessment of potential claims and developing the theories of harm in relation to affected markets. Pádraic is also responsible for the marketing activities of CDC. Martin Seegers is a legal counsel at Cartel Damage Claims (CDC). Martin studied law at the universities of Cologne, Paris and Washington D.C. In 2003 he published a phD thesis on private damage claims under EU and International Law. Prior to joining CDC, Martin gained experience in the competition practice group of a leading international law firm in Cologne and London, as well as with the Competition Directorate of the European   Commission. Within CDC his main responsibilities include contract management, the book building of cases as well as the preparation and coordination of Europe-wide damage actions.

Get articles like this by email