The estimated damage cannot be less than 5% of the purchase price paid for reasons of effectiveness under EU law.” This was recently stated by the German Federal Court of Justice about claims for damages due to the Dieselgate scandal. However, the Court’s reasoning in favour of this legal lower limit for damages might equally, if not even more so, be applied to cartel damages claims – an analysis.
On 5 January 2023, the German Federal Court of Justice (BGH) published an important judgment in relation to follow-on damage actions relating to the so-called German drugstore products cartel (Case KZR 42/20). In its ruling, Germany’s highest civil court also confirmed a factual presumption of harm in the case of anticompetitive information exchanges. This is an important clarification as the BGH had thus far only acknowledged such factual presumption in cases of price-fixing and market-sharing practices. In addition, the BGH clarified that cartel participants are jointly and severally liable for damages caused in relation to products they do not manufacture themselves if they were aware that the anticompetitive practices extended to the other products.