The OECD Report on International Private Enforcement

Officially known as ‘Individual and Collective Private Enforcement of Competition Law: Insights for Mexico in 2018’, this Report was prepared with a view to advise Mexico on how to reform its private enforcement regime. The Report can be found here. Advising Mexico in this regard required the pursuit of a comprehensive overview of international experiences with private competition enforcement – with a focus on Europe and North America, but also looking beyond these regions. This project also required the identification of the various elements that comprise private enforcement regimes around the world, the various forms that each of these elements may take, and how these elements relate to one another. I may of course be mistaken, but I think there is no other work like this in the market. As such, I circulate the Report here because I think it can provide a useful reference for anyone working or interested in private enforcement.

Jurisdictional Clauses and Abuses of a Dominant Position – Case C‑595/17 Apple ECLI:EU:C:2018:854

This review concerns the judgment of 24 October by the CJEU on whether generally worded jurisdiction clauses cover claims of abuse of a dominant position brought by one party to a contract against the other (Case C‑595/17 Apple ECLI:EU:C:2018:854). The interpretation of generally worded jurisdiction clauses, and whether they extend to cartel claims, was the topic of a couple of articles that I reviewed a few weeks ago here and here. Facts The case concerns a distribution contract entered into between Apple and eBizcuss (the ‘authorised reseller’ or ‘distributor’) which contained a jurisdiction clause conferring jurisdiction on the Irish courts. The clause read as follows: ‘This Agreement and the corresponding relationship between the parties shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Republic of Ireland and the parties shall submit to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Republic of Ireland.’ In 2012, the authorised reseller brought proceedings before the tribunal de commerce de Paris…

Olga Sendetska ‘Arbitrating Antitrust Damages Claims: Access to Arbitration’ (2018) Journal of International Arbitration 35(3) 357

In 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU, Court) delivered a judgment in CDC v. Akzo Nobel finding that broadly worded jurisdiction clauses do not extend to competition-related tortious damages claims. Even though the Court did not address arbitration clauses, a spillover into this area may nonetheless take place. This is reflected in how, both prior to and after the CDC judgment, Member States’ courts have reached conflicting conclusions when dealing with broad arbitration clauses. This article, which can be found here, reviews these developments as follows: The introduction reviews the relationship between arbitration and private competition enforcement in the EU. The arbitrability of competition law issues is now generally acknowledged in the EU. Nowadays, arbitral tribunals do not even discuss the issue of antitrust arbitrability in their awards. Academic commentators focus on discussing whether certain contractual formulas amount to valid consent to arbitrating EU competition law matters. Arbitral tribunals are able to deal with matters such…

James Segan ‘Arbitration Clauses and Competition Law’ (2018) Journal of European Competition Law & Practice 9(7) 423

This paper, available here,  takes a practical take on how arbitration clauses should be construed when trying to determine whether a competition claim is arbitrable. It argues that the current EU approach to these clauses risks creating circumvention efforts, whereby competition law claims are ‘dressed up’ as contractual claims to circumvent the perceived effect of the CDC decision. A more predictable and sustainable approach would be the ordinary approach of focusing on the objective measure of connection between tortious competition law complaints and the subject matter of the agreement containing the arbitration clause. The paper is structured as follows: A first section reviews prior debates on the interplay between competition and arbitration. Historically, the literature focused on three topics, namely: (i) whether competition law claims are arbitrable at all; (ii) whether arbitral tribunals are under a duty to rule upon competition law claims raised by the parties or to raise such issues ex officio, and (iii) whether and in what ways a court,…

Barbara Warwas ‘The State of Research on Arbitration and EU Law: Quo Vadis European Arbitration?´ (2016) EUI Working Paper LAW 2016/23

This is not so much a paper as a book – or at least an extended report that can be found here. The goal of this paper is to provide a systematic literature review of studies on arbitration in recent decades, with a focus on emerging developments in arbitration and EU. Since it is 109 pages long, I will provide only a high-level overview, with detailed discussions of those topics that are of greater interest to me. Academic studies of arbitration have proliferated in recent decades, partially as a function of the professionalization of international arbitration practice. This abundant arbitration scholarship follows two streams. On the one hand, one can come across research largely revolving around the practicalities of arbitration whose main objective is to reveal how arbitration works in practice. On the other hand, one can find literature on the interplay between arbitration and law. This second type of literature is often more critical than studies on the practice…

Renato Nazzini ‘Arbitrability of Competition Claims in Tort and the Principle of Effectiveness of EU Law’ (2017) European Business Law Review 28(6) 795

This paper – which can be found here – contains a discussion of the recent CDC decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union. It begins with  an overviews of debates about the arbitrability of competition law. Whether competition law matters are arbitrable is a question that is connected to a longstanding debate on the ‘public policy’ nature of competition law (which flows from the wording of the New York convention, but we do not need to go there now). It is widely accepted that while many matters may be subject to arbitration, difficulties arise where a dispute concerns a matter of public importance – such as criminal law or insolvency. For a long time, competition law matters were not allowed to be subject to arbitration on both sides of the Atlantic. In the 1980’s, the US Supreme Court reversed course and explicitly held that competition matters were arbitrable. In Europe, the arbitrability of competition law was implicitly…

James Segan ‘When is an antitrust/competition claim caught by an arbitration clause? The Microsoft Mobile decision’

This is a link to a short blog post  which looks at the interpretation of arbitral clauses and their applicability to antitrust disputes. It provides a good overview of the law as it stands in Europe and the UK. Shortly: a typical arbitration clause will usually say that all disputes arising out of a contract should be subject to arbitration. Since “the parties likely intended any dispute (contractual or tortious) arising out of the relationship into which they have entered or purported to have entered to be decided by the same tribunal”, this could be interpreted as subjecting to arbitration any claims about over-pricing paid in the context of an agreement containing such a clause, even if the damage was caused by a cartel. However, the law is that competition law claims will be regarded as coming within an arbitration clause only if they are closely related factually to a viable contractual claim which has already been, or could be,…

Damien Geradin and Emilio Villano ‘Arbitrability of EU Competition Law-based Claims: Where Do We Stand After the CDC Hydrogen Peroxide Case?’ (2017) World Competition 40(1) 67

This paper – which you can find here – focuses  on the arbitrability of competition law in Europe. The paper is clearly concerned with the implications of the European courts’ decisions in the CDC Hydrogen Peroxide case, but also takes the opportunity to take a deeper look at the interface between arbitration and competition law. The paper begins by acknowledging that it is consensual that Articles 101 and 102 TFEU are fully arbitrable, but then moves on to assess whether other competition provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, i.e. Articles 106 to 108, as well as in secondary EU competition legislation (e.g. the EU Merger Control Regulation) are arbitrable as well. The article is divided into three parts: With a brief detour into the United States, section 2 discusses the progressive recognition by national and EU courts of the arbitrability of EU competition law, and discusses outstanding questions regarding the arbitrability of EU competition law….

Damien Geradin and Emilio Villano ‘Arbitrability of EU Competition law-based claims’

First circulated on 28 October 2016   This paper provides an interesting overview (if for lawyers only) of the arbitrability of EU competition law. It was published in World Competition, and can be found at https://www.kluwerlawonline.com/abstract.php?id=WOCO2017004. Very pro-arbitration, as is usual among those who write about it (usually because people who write about arbitration are engaged in arbitration as party representatives or arbitrators). Comprehensive, and of undoubted value to anyone interested or involved in this area.