CDC pioneered the method of aggregating claims from multiple damaged companies into one legal action. We then take this bundled claim to court in our own name and at our own cost and risk. This innovative solution has ever since been known by experts as the “CDC Bundling Model”. Other players entering the market in more recent times attempt to copy this model.
Our bundling model helps to overcome the considerable information asymmetries that exist between cartelists and damaged companies. This aggregated approach enables compensation claims based on market-wide data while simultaneously ensuring that competition rules are respected. The data and information gathered from damaged companies remain securely and confidentially stored in CDC’s possession.
Through our bundling model, CDC obtains access to detailed market-wide information on the supply and demand characteristics of the market in question. This includes specific data such as prices, rebates, discounts, delivery costs, purchasing contracts and product or service specifications. We use this data to create a clean and comprehensive database capturing all relevant aspects of the market. A database as such is fundamental to antitrust claims and individual claimants often lack the ability or data to compile such a market-wide database, particularly in relation to Europe-wide infringements. Our integrated approach of bundling strengthens the bargaining power in negotiations and increases pressure on cartelists to provide full compensation for the harm caused.
The Leniency PLUS+® programme created by CDC allows damaged companies to obtain optimum compensation as quickly as possible while providing cartel members cooperating with CDC an effective solution to reduce their risk exposure associated with antitrust damages claims.
Under Leniency PLUS+®, one or more members of the cartel in question pay(s) a reduced amount of compensation to CDC in exchange for information and data, enabling CDC to obtain compensation more easily and quickly from the other members of that cartel. An essential element of Leniency PLUS+® is CDC’s commitment not to pursue further legal action against the member(s) of the cartel that cooperate with CDC.
Facilitated through the acquisition of claims from numerous 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 through leniency programmes or not – can therefore minimise their financial exposure from private damage actions by approaching CDC and benefiting from its Leniency PLUS+® programme.
In 2014, CDC commissioned an independent and detailed study on calculating interest on antitrust damages. The study was conducted by the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. The objective of this study was to serve as a reference in cross-border cases, particularly in the field of interest calculation for damages caused by cartels.
The study offers a systematic and practical account of interest rules in several European jurisdictions, valuable especially in cases involving cross-border litigation. It also provides judges and lawmakers with analyses and recommendations for properly applying interest rules in cases involving damages due to competition law infringements.
In the years since the study’s publication, the (case) law has evolved in several of the surveyed Member States, but the fundamental features outlined in the national reports remain valid. As explained here, rules of national civil law and imperatives of European law interact.
EU law stipulates that interest accrues as from the occurrence of harm. Interest rates change over time, and cartel damages are typically claimed only years after they occurred. Thus, interest calculation generally requires over a dozen calculation steps for most jurisdictions, even for a single damage amount. Cases run by the CDC group involve thousands of damage amounts that arose at different times and often in various jurisdictions. The need for an automated solution is obvious.
The CDC interest module, written in python, implements the algorithms and rates for interest calculation in the different jurisdictions. It includes an extensive test suite and documentation that allows CDC team members to calculate interest for damage datasets fast and accurately. Written and maintained by Ben Bornemann and Quinten Goens, it continues to be developed and updated with input of various CDC team member and our external partners.