by David Henry and Wilko van Weert

In a recent judgment, a District Court in the Netherlands (the DCA) handed down a judgment in what is the first substantive damages judgment in the Netherlands for a breach of competition law.  In issuing the declaration of liability, the DCA held that ABB must pay damages to the Dutch grid operator TenneT for the overcharge that arose as a result of the gas insulated switchgear cartel, putting aside arguments by ABB that any damages should take into account the fact that the overcharge had been passed on to customers of TenneT. The court considered that in this case the indirect purchasers were likely to benefit from compensation to the direct customer.

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