by Philipp Werner and Lionel Lesur
On 24 August 2011, the Commercial Court in Paris ordered the French competition authority, the Autorité de la concurrence (Autorité), to disclose documents relating to the settlement of an antitrust investigation in the context of a private damages action. This order could significantly strengthen the position of claimants in damages actions in France and potentially in other EU Member States and adds another layer of complexity to cartel cases in the European Union. When agreeing to settle with the Autorité, companies must therefore now consider the potential risk of having to disclose documents in future actions.
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