The Brussels I Regulation is crucial for the effectiveness of EU competition law in the field of private enforcement because it provides a legal framework for the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters, which includes antitrust damages cases. However, the interaction between the rules governing private enforcement of EU competition law and the Regulation is unclear. This article discusses one of the issues arising from this interaction, namely, whether the public policy objection envisaged in the Regulation may be invoked to refuse recognition and enforcement of an antitrust damages award. The argument advanced in this article is that the public policy exception can be invoked successfully in the case of a serious violation of the procedural rights of the defendant. By contrast, the public policy exception is generally not applicable if enforcement of a foreign award may lead to infringement of substantive national provisions, even those of fundamental importance for the Member State in which enforcement is sought. This would go against the rights and principles of EU competition law, such as the principle of effectiveness and the right to full compensation for antitrust-related damages.
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