European Commission fines truck cartel €3.8 billion
On 19th July 2016, The European Commission issued a press release announcing record fines of €2.93 billion for European truck manufacturers that had participated in a long running cartel. The decision relates specifically to the market for the manufacturing of medium (6 to 16 tonnes) and heavy trucks (over 16 tonnes).
The Commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF broke EU antitrust rules and that these truck makers colluded for 14 years on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted 14 years, from 1997 until 2011, when the European Commission carried out unannounced inspections of the firms. The Commission imposed a record fine of € 2.93 billion. MAN was not fined as it had revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. All companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case.
The Commission’s investigation revealed that the truck manufacturers had engaged in a cartel relating to:
– Coordinating prices at “gross list” level for medium and heavy trucks in the European Economic Area (EEA). The “gross list” price level relates to the factory price of trucks, as set by each manufacturer. Generally, these gross list prices are the basis for pricing in the trucks industry. The final price paid by buyers is then based on further adjustments, done at national and local level, to these gross list prices.
– The timing for the introduction of emission technologies for medium and heavy trucks to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards (from Euro III through to the currently applicable Euro VI).
– The passing on to customers of the costs for the emissions technologies required to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards (from Euro III through to the currently applicable Euro VI).
Truck maker, Scania, was not covered by the July 2016 settlement decision and remained under investigation under the standard (non-settlement) cartel procedure. On 27 September 2017, following the conclusion of its investigation, the European Commission issued a press release announcing that it had found that Scania broke EU antitrust rules and had colluded for 14 years with the five other truck manufacturers on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of new technologies to meet stricter emission rules. The Commission imposed a fine of €880 million on Scania. Speaking in Brussels, European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager said:
“Today’s decision marks the end of our investigation into a very long lasting cartel – 14 years. This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe. These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other – also on environmental improvements.”
Total truck cartel fines imposed by the European Commission now exceed €3.8 billion
– Amsterdam Court Clears Way for Pan-European Truck Cartel Damages Claim: Read More
– European Commission announcement re: €880 million fine for Scania in truck cartel case: Read More
– European Commission fines truck producers € 2.93 billion for participating in a cartel: Read More
– European Commission Decision in the European truck cartel case (PDF format): Read More
– Summaries of the European Commission’s truck cartel case decision in 23 European languages:
The BarentsKrans pan-European damages claim
The BarentsKrans pan-European truck cartel damages claim represents truck fleet owners and operators from all over Europe who suffered losses as a result of the truck cartel. If you bought or leased medium or heavy trucks from the European truck cartel between 1997 and 2011, you are entitled to seek damages plus interest in respect of the losses you suffered as a result of the cartel. The process for joining the BarentsKrans claim is very straightforward. To find out more, please e-mail email@example.com