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Consumer Involvement in Private EU Competition Law Enforcement

Maria Ioannidou


In the last decade, EU competition law rhetoric has attributed increased importance to ‘consumer interest’. The enforcement of EU competition law often does not match these pronouncements as final consumers and their respective interests play only an ancillary role. The book starts from this observed inconsistency with the aim of strengthening the importance attributed to ‘consumer interest’ in the application and enforcement of EU competition law. By alluding to the difficulties in adopting a final consumer welfare standard in the substantive enforcement of EU competition law, the book explores an alternative route and focuses predominantly on consumer participation in private competition law enforcement. The analysis is conducted at three levels. First, normative justifications for enhanced consumer participation are provided. These include the deterrence against competition law violations and catering for compensation to affected consumers (endemic/functional aims of private enforcement), as well as legitimizing EU competition policy and contributing to consumers’ empowerment (ancillary institutional benefits). Second, practical proposals in relation to remedial and procedural rules on standing, access to evidence, and collective actions enabling consumer involvement are formulated. Third, and insofar as institutional and political limitations impede the adoption of effective measures in the field of private enforcement, alternative routes for consumer participation in public competition law enforcement such as super-complaints and public compensation are examined and proposals formulated.

Bibliographic Information

Maria Ioannidou, author

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