Defense Against Damages Claims Arising From an Information Exchange

The Situation

Plaintiffs alleged an anticompetitive price increases on the part of the defendants’ participation in an informal information exchange regarding aggregate (list) price for fast-moving consumer goods fined by the Bundeskartellamt. Plaintiffs filed a follow-on damages claim in a German court against the defendants to pursue their claim.

NERA's Role

NERA was retained by the defendants to analyze the economic report brought forward by the plaintiff to estimate the harm they allegedly suffered. The NERA team led by former Managing Director Prof. Dr. Frank P. Maier-Rigaud and including Consultants Dr. Nadine Fabritz and Dr. C.-Philipp Heller, analyzed the affected markets and the price-setting in the industry. Based on their analysis, they reviewed the plaintiffs’ economic report, finding that the damage quantification lacked a theory of harm based on solid economic theory and contained a number of errors.

The Result

Plaintiffs damages claim has been rejected by the appellate court, favorably citing the conclusion of the NERA report regarding the lack of a theory of harm and errors in the quantification of damage.