The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2024”.

Antitrust in 2023 was marked by a series of policy developments—some still nascent, some ripe for enforcement for the first time.  In the U.S., the FTC and DOJ finalized their drastically transformed merger guidelines.  In the EU, landmark new digital regulations became applicable for the first time.  And the UK government introduced a bill promising major new digital and consumer protection rules. 

The UK introduced a new collective proceedings regime for competition damages claims in October 2015.[1]  The early years of the new regime were characterized by cautious uncertainty as the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and the appellate courts grappled with identifying the standards for certification.[2]  It took almost six years before the CAT certified the first claim in Merricks in August 2021.[3]  The CAT subsequently certified 10 other claims in less than two years, which in turn, encouraged additional claims to be brought.

Last year we noted that U.S. antitrust enforcement was in a period of nearly unprecedented public attention and policy debate, and also that the Biden Administration seemed likely to launch significant new policy initiatives as the year progressed. 

On 10 November 2022, the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued a preliminary ruling[1] on the interpretation of the disclosure obligation under the EU directive that harmonised national rules governing actions for damages for breaches of competition law in EU member states and the UK (the Damages Directive).[2]