Tuesday 17 – Wednesday 18 May 2022
The 15 Claimants, collectively Gemalto, appeal, with permission from Mrs J Bacon, her order dated 28 January 2022, upon hearing a preliminary issue trial, whereby she dismissed their claims against the First to Fifth Defendants (D1- D5 ) as time barred and granted permission to appeal. Her order dated 14 February 2022 made consequential costs orders which are also appealed.
Preliminary issue hearing in a claim brought by Gemalto for damages for infringement of competition law by the Defendants in relation to the supply of Smart Card Chips (SCC).
It is a follow-on claim based on an infringement found by the European Commission in its Decision dated 3 September 2014 in Case AT.39574 Smart Card Chips (Decision) which found that between 2003- 2005 various suppliers of SCC had taken part in a cartel. The Full Decision was published 6 December 2016.
The Commission had previously requested Gemalto (a customer of the cartel companies) to provide information about its purchases in a certain period.
Proceedings were issued on 19 July 2019.
Issue: whether, as Gemalto contend, time to bring the claim only started running under s32 (1) (b) Limitation Act 1980 when the Commission announced adoption of its Decision or, as the Defendants contend, time started running at the latest April 2013 when the Commission announced it had sent a Statement of Objections (SO) to suspected participants in a SCC cartel.
The Judge found Gemalto had sufficient information at the time the SO was announced, taking account of other information also known to Gemalto, to plead a claim without waiting for the Decision.