Cyriel Ruers was interviewed by Global Competition Review (GCR) about a ruling by the district court of Oost-Brabant, in which two members of the international picture tube cartel were ordered to pay damages of more than €33 million to Brazilian claimants following a successful follow-on claim.
Before the Dutch court, the plaintiffs, three electronic equipment manufacturers, argued that they suffered damages due to the excessive prices the cartel participants charged their customers. The Brazilian plaintiffs brought their claims before the Dutch court by using Philips as the lead defendant (the so-called anchor defendant). They then settled with LG Electronics and Philips, leaving Samsung SDI and LP Display as the two remaining defendants.
In October 2022, the district court of Oost-Brabant withheld its final judgment after agreeing that the total damages should be recalculated. On March 15, 2023, the Court issued three separate judgments. It is noteworthy that three of the defendants (two Brazilian entities and one Dutch company in bankruptcy) were convicted in absentia. Also noteworthy is the fact that none of the defendants originally appearing in the proceedings (as a result of a settlement) is participating in the proceedings anymore, but this, according to the court, does not change its jurisdiction.
GCR asked Cyriel Ruers about the significance of the ruling:
“Maverick Advocaten partner Cyriel Ruers in Amsterdam said the ruling proves once again that the Netherlands is a “friendly” jurisdiction for competition follow-on damages claims. He noted that the case is “quite exceptional” as two of the three decisions were “judgments by default” because several of the companies – including a now-defunct Dutch LP Display subsidiary – failed to appear in court.”
These rulings show that Dutch courts do not shy away from awarding substantial damages in follow-on cases and may foreshadow rulings in other follow-on cases currently pending in the Netherlands.
GCR's full article can be read here.
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