On 14 December 2023, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its first horizon scanning report examining ten trends in digital markets that the CMA expects will be relevant over the next five years and beyond.

The report aims to “draw on available evidence to discuss and present possible future developments and potential implications for competition and consumers”.[1]  The trends focus on areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), interoperability, and privacy.

On 20 November 2023, the Digital Markets, Competition, and Consumers Bill (DMCC) cleared the report stage and an expedited third reading in the House of Commons, at which a series of significant amendments were passed. 

On September 6, 2023, the French Supreme Court (“Cour de cassation) upheld the Paris Court of Appeal’s judgment which had dismissed Carrefour’s damage claim against Vania Expansion (“Vania”) [1] following Vania’s participation in the home and personal care cartel.[2]  The French Cour de cassation noted that it is up to the alleged victim to demonstrate that it has not passed on the overcharge to consumers.

On July 27, 2023[1], the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf ruled on the question of whether a company that has been fined under antitrust law can hold itself harmless by seeking indemnification from the statutory representatives in its managing corporate body.  While the Higher Regional Court rejected a claim for reimbursement of the fine imposed on the company by the German Federal Cartel Office and the costs of the fine proceedings, it confirmed the personal liability of the company’s statutory representatives in its managing corporate body for any consequential damages arising from the antitrust infringement, e.g., as a result of claims for damages by third parties.

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.

On May 9, 2023, the Conseil d’Etat clarified how the start date of the limitation period applicable to a public entity claiming damages for anticompetitive practices should be determined in a case where the management bodies of that public entity took part in such practices, confirming that the follow-on actions brought by the Île-de-France region following an illegal market sharing agreement was not time-barred. [1]  The Conseil d’Etat held that in the event that the damage suffered by the public entity resulted from practices in which its governing bodies participated, the limitation period could only run from the date on which new governing bodies, not involved in the anticompetitive practices, had acquired sufficient certainty as to the extent of these practices.