Since Dickens’ Christmas carol, ghosts have been part of the Christmas experience. No one is safe from his ghost, not even in antitrust law.
The (metaphorical) Dortmund ghost of Christmas is strongly related to the CJEU, hydrogen peroxide and the Brussels Ia Regulation (see CJEU 21.5.2015 – C-352/13, CDC v Akzo Nobel, ECLI: EU: C: 2015:335). After his first trip through Europe, I had hoped that this spirit would be safely (in the truest sense of the word) banished to the office next door.
Of course, another action for damages came to my desk in an antitrust case. In this case, the parties had concluded an arbitration clause: the former Christmas spirit became the spirit of Christmas gifts and knocked on my door. He demanded to be respected and requested that I should submit myself to the CJEU ruling banning arbitration from damages actions in antitrust cases.
I figured – even without an exorcist – that ghosts are not allowed to demand everything: for the time being, the ghost is banned and the arbitration clause is applicable (cf. LG Dortmund 13.09.17 – 8 O 30/16[Kart], Note by Thiede, Tant que ça marche on ne touche à rien, NZKart 2017,589 ff.)
The ghost of future Christmas has so far spared my office. However, the above-mentioned CJEU case is still pending……..
Dr. Gerhard Klumpe is a Presiding Judge at the District Court of Dortmund where he chairs a Chamber for Commercial Matters as well as the only Civil Law Chamber for Cartel Damage Actions within the jurisdiction of the Higher Regional Court of Hamm.