DIRECTIVE 2014/104/EU OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
AND OF THE COUNCIL
of 26 November 2014
on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union
Official Journal of the European Union UE L. 2014 No. 349, p. 1
Chapter I. Subject matter, scope and definitions
Article 2. Definitions
For the purposes of this Directive, the following definitions apply:
18) „settlement submission” means a voluntary presentation by, or on behalf of, an undertaking to a competition authority describing the undertaking's acknowledgement of, or its renunciation to dispute, its participation in an infringement of competition law and its responsibility for that infringement of competition law, which was drawn up specifically to enable the competition authority to apply a simplified or expedited procedure;
21) „consensual dispute resolution” means any mechanism enabling parties to reach the out-of-court resolution of a dispute concerning a claim for damages;
22) „consensual settlement” means an agreement reached through consensual dispute resolution;
Chapter VI. Consensual dispute resolution
Article 18. Suspensive and other effects of consensual dispute resolution
1. Member States shall ensure that the limitation period for bringing an action for damages is suspended for the duration of any consensual dispute resolution process. The suspension of the limitation period shall apply only with regard to those parties that are or that were involved or represented in the consensual dispute resolution.
2. Without prejudice to provisions of national law in matters of arbitration, Member States shall ensure that national courts seized of an action for damages may suspend their proceedings for up to two years where the parties thereto are involved in consensual dispute resolution concerning the claim covered by that action for damages.
3. A competition authority may consider compensation paid as a result of a consensual settlement and prior to its decision imposing a fine to be a mitigating factor.
Article 19. Effect of consensual settlements on subsequent actions for damages
1. Member States shall ensure that, following a consensual settlement, the claim of the settling injured party is reduced by the settling co-infringer's share of the harm that the infringement of competition law inflicted upon the injured party.
2. Any remaining claim of the settling injured party shall be exercised only against non-settling co-infringers. Non-settling co-infringers shall not be permitted to recover contribution for the remaining claim from the settling co-infringer.
3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, Member States shall ensure that where the non-settling co-infringers cannot pay the damages that correspond to the remaining claim of the settling injured party, the settling injured party may exercise the remaining claim against the settling co-infringer.
The derogation referred to in the first subparagraph may be expressly excluded under the terms of the consensual settlement.
4. When determining the amount of contribution that a co-infringer may recover from any other co-infringer in accordance with their relative responsibility for the harm caused by the infringement of competition law, national courts shall take due account of any damages paid pursuant to a prior consensual settlement involving the relevant co-infringer.