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Enterprise Act 2002

Section 18: Monetary Claims

74.Subsection (1) inserts a new section 47A in CA 1998 that will enable claims for damages, or other monetary awards, to be brought in the CAT (the CAT will also exercise the appeals jurisdiction currently exercised by the appeal tribunals of the CC, and the new review jurisdiction under Parts 3 and 4 of the Act). However, it will be possible to bring such claims in the CAT only where it has been established (by either the OFT or the European Commission) that an infringement of competition law has occurred. The right to bring such a claim will be without prejudice to the existing right to bring similar claims in the courts.

75.The new section 47A(1) and (3) enable the CAT to hear any claims for damages or other sums of money arising from a specified infringement of competition law, which could be made in civil proceedings before a court.

76.The new section 47A(6) specifies the infringements of competition law in respect of which a claim may be made to the CAT. These are: breaches of the prohibitions in Chapter I and Chapter II of CA 1998, and breaches of the prohibitions in Article 81 and Article 82 of the EC Treaty. Those prohibitions concern agreements, decisions and concerted practices that have the object or effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition (Chapter I and Article 81), and conduct that amounts to the abuse of a dominant position (Chapter II and Article 82). Also included are existing decisions taken under the corresponding provisions of the European Coal and Steel Treaty, which expires on 23 July 2002.

77.The new section 47A(3) disapplies any limitation periods which would otherwise be applicable to such claims. The limitation periods for claims brought before the Tribunal will be specified in the CAT Rules.

78.The new section 47A(5), (6) and (8) further limit the claims that may be heard by the CAT. A claim may be brought only if it arises out of an infringement that has already been established by a decision of the OFT, of the CAT itself on appeal from the OFT, or the European Commission. Except with the permission of the CAT, decisions are excluded that may still be subject to appeal (for instance an appeal to the CAT itself in the case of decisions of the OFT, to the Court of Appeal in the case of CAT decisions on such an appeal, or an application to the European Court of Justice in the case of decisions of the European Commission).

79.The new section 47A(9) makes it clear that, in determining the claim, the CAT is bound by the relevant decision establishing the infringement.

80.Subsection (2) provides that proceedings may be brought under the new section 47A in respect of claims arising before, as well as after, the commencement of that section. This will be subject to the limitation periods specified in the CAT Rules.

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