On September 1, 2017, a new law took effect. Known as the Act on Compensation for Competition-related Harm, the law has the extended title the Act on Compensation-related Harm and on Changes to the Protection of Competition Act (Act No. 143/2001 Coll.) and Statutory Amendments, as amended. On August 18, 2017, it was included in the official collection of statutes under reference number 262/2017.

The Czech statute belatedly adopts European Parliament and Council Directive 2014/104/EU of November 26, 2014, which concerns compensation under national law for the breach of competition law rules binding EU member states. 

The Compensation for Competition-related Harm Act aims to support the bringing of civil actions in cases where competition was restricted due to an abuse of dominant position or the presence of a cartel arrangement. To this end, the Act introduces specific concepts and procedures including rules on the admission of evidence and transfer of the burden of proof to competitors who have restricted competition in cartel cases (in these situations, the causing of harm by the cartel is a rebuttable presumption). Other changes include the introduction of a special five-year statute of limitations and new rules on the running of the limitation period and the consequences of transferring price increases to consumers.

The Act on Compensation for Competition-related Harm is based on the principle of full compensation for losses and it rules out the right of courts to mitigate damages. The statute also gives regional courts standing to deal with these claims in the first instance.

Whether or not this new law results in more successful civil actions for competition law violations will depend on competitors themselves and the forthcoming case law. To date, these actions remain uncommon in the Czech Republic.  

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