The Competition Appeal Tribunal’s power to grant injunctions

Lucy Davies

The UK’s system for the enforcement of competition law through the courts (as an alternative or in addition to a complaint to a regulator) is set to be overhauled by the Consumer Rights Act 2015, which entered into force on 1 October 2015.

As previously reported, the Act amends key legislation governing competition law enforcement in the UK, and will (amongst other things) expand the jurisdiction of the Competition Appeal Tribunal, so that the Tribunal may, for the first time, grant injunctions.  The rules governing the CAT’s power to grant injunctions are set out in The Competition Appeal Tribunal Rules 2015, which will govern the procedure in proceedings commenced in the CAT on or after 1 October 2015.

The power to grant injunctions (Rules 67 – 70)

The CAT is able to grant both interim and final injunctions.  Interim injunctions may be granted at any time, including before proceedings are started (in the event that the matter is urgent or it is necessary to do so in the interests of justice) and after judgment has been given.  Applications for injunctions must be supported by evidence, which should include all material information regarding the applicant’s ability to pay under any undertakings as to damages that the Tribunal may require to be given and, where the application is made without notice, the reasons why notice has not been given.

In the event that a party subject to an injunction has failed to comply with its terms, the party wishing to enforce the injunction may apply to the CAT for certification of the matter to the High Court.  After giving the parties an opportunity to be heard, the CAT must make directions as it thinks fit for determining whether to certify the matter to the High Court.

For more information see Olswang’s Practical guide to competition damages claims in the UK.

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