CDC Cartel Damage Claims has been at the forefront of developments in obtaining compensation for infringements of competition law for more than 16 years. During that time, we never stopped innovating new projects and strategies to provide greatest value for damaged companies. Three examples of our innovations and projects include:
CDC pioneered the method of aggregating claims from multiple damaged companies into one legal action taken in CDC’s own name and at its own cost and risk. This innovation has been known ever since by experts as the “CDC Bundling Model”. Other players entering the market in more recent times are attempting to copy this model.
The bundling model of CDC helps to overcome the considerable information asymmetries that exist between cartelists and damaged companies. This enables the claiming of compensation based on market-wide data while simultaneously ensuring competition rules are respected. The data and information remain securely and confidentially stored in the possession of CDC.
The bundling model allows CDC access to detailed market-wide information on the supply and demand characteristics of the market in question as well as specific data such as prices, rebates, discounts, delivery costs, purchasing contracts and product or service specifications. The creation of a clean and comprehensive database capturing all relevant aspects of the market is fundamental. Individual claimants often lack the ability or data to compile such a market-wide database particularly in relation to Europe-wide infringements.
The comprehensive market-wide database combined with CDC’s expertise in economics, statistics and computer programming ensures the in-depth understanding of the market necessary to successfully claim compensation. The integrated approach of CDC strengthens the bargaining power in negotiations and increases the pressure on cartelists to provide full compensation for the harm caused by the cartel.
The Leniency PLUS+® program created by CDC provides cartel members with an effective solution to reduce their risk exposure associated with claims for antitrust damages, while allowing damaged companies to obtain optimum compensation as quickly as possible.
Under the Leniency PLUS+® program, one or more members of the cartel cooperating with CDC pay(s) a reduced amount of compensation to CDC in exchange for information and data enabling CDC to obtain greater compensation more easily and quickly from the other members of that cartel. An essential aspect of Leniency PLUS+® is CDC’s commitment not to pursue further legal action against the member(s) of the cartel that cooperate with CDC.
To the extent that CDC acquires the claims of a multitude of damaged companies, we are able to offer cartel members who wish to benefit from Leniency PLUS+®, a reduction of their financial exposure, while allowing damaged companies to obtain optimum compensation as quickly as possible. CDC can also provide mechanisms by which cartel members can hedge their risks. In negotiating and structuring complex multi-million settlements, CDC has gained a valuable reputation as a trusted settlement partner among cartel members and their advisors.
Cartel members – whether they choose to cooperate with the competition authorities in exchange for reductions in fines under leniency programs or not – can therefore minimise their financial exposure from private damage actions by approaching CDC to benefit from its Leniency PLUS+® program.
In 2014, CDC commissioned an independent and detailed study on the calculation of interest on antitrust damages. The study was conducted by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. The objective of the study is to serve as a benchmark and reference in cross border cases, particularly in the field of interest calculation for damages caused by cartels.
The study offers all parties involved in complex cross border litigation a systematic and practical account of interest rules in several European jurisdictions. It also provides judges and lawmakers with analyses and recommendations for the proper application of interest rules and advice on principles that should inform effective implementation of the Damages Directive.
If national and EU standards were established in a similar vein to the study, certain challenges in calculating interest particularly in cross-border compensation proceedings could be considerably alleviated. This would enable the development of standardised software which could be used by affected parties and the judiciary to quickly and accurately calculate interest on damages relating to breaches of competition rules across multiple jurisdictions.
The study therefore identifies ways on how to overcome existing hurdles which have slowed down private antitrust enforcement across the EU.