Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

​Court of Justice to rule on Damages Directive

1 February 2018

Suzanne Rab

The European Court of Justice is being asked whether the Damages Directive (2014/104/EU) can be applied to a competition law action that was brought prior to the 27 December 2016 implementation date.

The Lisbon Commercial Court has asked the Court to make a preliminary ruling in an action launched in February 2015.  Canadian cable company Cogeco brought in the Lisbon Commercial Court a claim for €11.5 million in damages from Portuguese pay-tv channel, Sport TV.  More than a year after the due date for implementation, Portugal has not yet implemented the directive.

The Portuguese Civil Code has a three year limitation period for seeking non-contractual damages and the conduct at issue occurred before the Commission’s vote on the directive in November 2014.

The reference highlights that notwithstanding the enactment of the damages directive and its goals to harmonise procedural rights across the EU in competition cases, there will remain scope for satellite litigation on how to interpret rights under EU law. 

It may be that the Court does not provide particularly detailed guidance on the scope of the directive and will instead focus on the effectiveness of national law in giving effect to EU law rights.

Request for a preliminary ruling from the Tribunal Judicial da Comarca de Lisboa (Portugal) lodged on 15 November 2017 — Cogeco Communications Inc v Sport TV Portugal and Others (Case C-637/17)

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team