On 20 September 2016, the Malta national competition authority, that is, the Office for Competition within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority launched a consultation process on the transposition into Maltese law of the EU Antitrust Damages Directive which provides for a full right of compensation covering actual loss, loss of profits and interest.

The proposed subsidiary legislation transposes new provisions for:

  • a rebuttable presumption that the infringement of competition law happened if there is a finding by a national competition authority of another EU Member State to that effect;
  • increase of limitation period for actions for damages arising from a breach of the competition rules to 5 years (from 2 years);
  • detailed rules on disclosure of documents;
  • joint and several liability with preferential rules for SMEs and undertakings benefitting from immunity under a leniency programme;
  • a rebuttable presumption that indirect purchasers suffered overcharge harm, subject to the indirect purchaser proving a number of pre-conditions;
  • a rebuttable presumption that cartels cause harm;
  • the suspensive effects of consensual settlements; and
  • the limited responsibility of a settling co-infringer following a consensual settlement.

The Malta NCA is accepting feedback and comments until 18 October 2016.

If you would like to discuss how your business may be affected by the transposition of the EU Damages Directive in Malta, kindly contact Antoine G. Cremona, Sylvann Aquilina Zahra or Clement Mifsud-Bonnici.