Two members of our Litigation and Risk Management practice group wrote a commentary on two (interlocutory) judgments in WAMCA-proceedings brought by three claim foundations against Apple Distribution International Ltd. ("Apple Ireland") and Apple Inc. ("Apple USA") in connection with, in brief, alleged infringements of competition law. Two questions were central to this stage of the proceedings:

  1. Does the Dutch court have international jurisdiction under Articles 7(2), 8(1), 17 and 18 Brussels I bis Regulation (or, if applicable, the Dutch Code of Civil Procedure)?
  1. What court has local territorial jurisdiction?

The relevance of these judgments lies in particular in the preliminary questions raised by the District Court of Amsterdam on the interpretation and application of Article 7(2) Brussels I bis Regulation in collective actions for competition damages. The CJEU clarified earlier in the RH/Volvo judgment that Article 7(2) Brussels I bis Regulation not only determines international jurisdiction, but in principle also directly determines the internal, local jurisdiction of the court. The CJEU has also repeatedly held that "Member States may not apply criteria for attributing jurisdiction other than those resulting from Article 7(2) Brussels I bis Regulation". The implication of this seems to be that, in the absence of other grounds of jurisdiction, RH/Volvo seems to close the door on a single collective procedure for recovery of damages entered in the Netherlands and that the Amsterdam court, in the commented judgments, has jurisdiction only in respect of injured parties domiciled in its district. But is that a desirable outcome?

In the commentary, Abdel and Michel discuss this and other questions and place the Amsterdam court's judgments in a broader perspective (literature and case law (of the CJEU)). The annotation was published in the journal Dutch Private International Law (NIPR) on 18 April 2024.

This ruling is not an isolated case and is part of a series of (class action) cases in which injured parties seek compensation for their damages resulting from competition law violations. Please also be referred to a previous commentary on this topic.

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Our Litigation & Risk Management team has vast experience with cross-border litigation and questions of private international law, including but not limited to questions on international jurisdiction. For more information, please contact the authors of the publication or one of the members of our team.