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Private antitrust litigation has been a key component of the antitrust regime for decades in the United States. The US litigation system utilises extensive discovery, pleadings and motions, use of experts, and, in a small number of matters, trials, to resolve the rights of the parties. The process imposes high litigation costs (both in time and money) on all participants, but promises great rewards for prevailing plaintiffs. Despite attempts by Congress and the US Supreme Court to curtail some of the more frivolous litigation and class actions, the environment remains ripe for high levels of litigation activity, particularly involving intellectual property rights and cartels.
Private competition enforcement is largely a work-in-progress in many other parts of the world. Many of the issues raised in this book, such as pass-on defence and the standing of indirect purchasers, are unresolved in many countries. Our authors have provided their views regarding how these issues are likely to be clarified in all of the most significant jurisdictions. Also unresolved in some jurisdictions is the availability of information obtained by the competition authorities during a cartel investigation, both from a leniency recipient and a party convicted of the offence. Other issues, such as privilege, are subject to proposed legislative changes. The one constant across all jurisdictions is the increase of cartel enforcement activity, which is likely to be a continuous source for private litigation in the future.