n South African Law Journal - The relationship between public and private enforcement in competition law : a comparative analysis of South African, the European Union, and Swiss law

Volume 127, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



This article presents an overview of the South African, European Union, and Swiss theory and practice regarding the relationship between public and private enforcement in competition law. The main point of the article is to verify whether there are any differences between the way the legislators and the authorities in these three jurisdictions see the private enforcement of competition law, and how these jurisdictions integrate the need to assess and punish the infringements to the various cartel acts with the question as to how persons who suffered damages are compensated (be it the consumers, or other economic actors). In our section on South Africa, we call for a greater attention to the issue of private enforcement of competition law. In our section on the EU, the Commission White Paper's implications are discussed. Our section on Swiss law evaluates the Swiss Cartel Act of 1995, and the opportunities offered by a revision of the 1995 Cartel Act. In all three jurisdictions that are analysed, there is a regrettable lack of clear or ready mechanisms to enable private parties who have suffered damages to be compensated for their loss.

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