Degree of Protection for Persons Affected by Cartel Agreements to be Improved

28. 6. 2017

At the beginning of June, the Parliament approved a bill addressing damages suffered in the area of economic competition thanks to which persons/entities that have been negatively affected by will be provided means which enable them to assert their rights. For instance, firms may be able to recover their losses or lost profits from inappropriately exorbitant prices set by their providers on a basis of a prohibited cartel agreement more easily.

The new amendment will require the accused party (i.e. the one which took part in the prohibited agreement) to prove that damage has not been caused. Also, the position of the claimant is strengthened by the fact that the evidence included in their court files is to be submitted by the Office for Protection of Competition based on a court order. Furthermore, the limitation period is to be extended - as opposed to the status quo (i.e. three years), the right to claim damages may be asserted within a five-year period starting at the moment when the claimant realised or should/could realise the damage has been suffered. The period, however, begins after the antidumping proceedings have been closed and is not limited by the ten-year limit as stipulated by the Civil Code.

The bill is yet to be debated by the Senate and then passed on to the President. It is expected to be adopted without major alterations as it introduces regulations contained in an European directive into the Czech law.    

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