Volume 30 (2007) / Issue 3
This article reviews the legal and economic structure of the class action litigation model in the United States, as set forth by rule 23 of US civil procedure, exploring the requirements for obtaining class certification and maintaining a class action. I analyse a number of critical issues and inefficiencies connected to the adoption of class action as a tool for adjudicating controversies. The article, then, takes into consideration the issue of private antitrust litigation in the European Union, at the moment still underdeveloped. A Green Paper recently published by the EU Commission includes proposals for the adoption of private antitrust damages litigation in the EU, but, even suggesting the possible adoption of a collective action model, never mentions class action as a viable solution. I consider some of the questions raised by the EU Commission in the Green Paper. Relying on the fact that US courts have repeatedly stated that antitrust controversies are suitable for class action treatment, I consider whether the US model of class action litigation might provide, although in an amended version, a satisfactory answer to the problematic issues raised by the Green Paper and represent an efficient tool for the private enforcement of antitrust law in the European Union.
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