On 12 October 2022, the District Court of Den Bosch in the Netherlands issued a landmark judgment awarding significant damages to two TV manufacturers as a result of a global cartel in the production of cathode-ray tubes (CRTs) between 1995 and 2007. The Court relied fully on the damages estimation by Oxera Partner Dr Avantika Chowdhury, who acted as the economic expert for claimants.
CRTs were an important component of TVs manufactured during the cartel period. The Court found that the claimants paid inflated prices for the CRTs that they purchased from major manufacturers during this period.
In relation to the overcharge and damages quantum, the Court fully adopted the economic analysis and findings of Oxera Partner Dr Avantika Chowdhury as presented by the legal team of Dentons Netherlands . The Court stated that it was ‘convinced by the views of Oxera – the method used for calculating the overcharge is commonly accepted, the analyses in the reports are clear and understandable and the calculations are well supported and easy to follow’.
The judgment also covers many important legal issues such as the information asymmetry between claimants and defendants in the assessment of the damages (including the assessment of the value of commerce affected by the cartel and imputation of the same), and what can be expected from a defendant when it raises a passing-on defence.
The Oxera team, which included Dr Avantika Chowdhury, James May, Sam Carr, Mona Sachter and Prince Montagna, worked closely with Marc Kuijper, Michel Deckers, Anouk Rosielle and Denise Coumans from Dentons Amsterdam, as well as Bruno Peixoto and Carolina Trevizo from the law firm Araújo e Policastro in São Paulo.
Dr Avantika Chowdhury says: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have contributed to this important judgment in the field of damages. This ruling underlines the importance of robust economic analysis and of transparency and clarity of presentation, as well as the valuable role of exchange of views between experts.’
Marc Kuijper commented on the decision: ‘We are very happy with the result that we helped achieve for our clients. The extensive and well-reasoned judgment will have an impact on the development of future antitrust litigation, and shows that the Dutch courts remain a go-to forum for complex, high-stakes litigations.’