As the European Commission issues yet another hefty fine on a cartel, it reminds cartel victims of their right to claim damages. The culprits in this latest conspiracy uncovered are rubber chemicals companies Flexsys, Bayer, Crompton and Quimica. Total fines of euro 75,86 million have been imposed by the watchdog. This sum would have been even higher had the companies not benefited from various levels of leniency for their cooperation. Fines levied by the watchdog go into the Community budget and as such indirectly reduces the tax burden on European citizens. Damages, however, are designed to provide direct compensation to those who have fallen victim of higher prices due to secret arrangements between competitors. A claimant who brings a case to the court can rely on the Commission's infringement decision as evidence. (For more on the Commission's campaign to encourage private actions in competition law, see above).

Back to Search