Truck Manufacturers' Cartel

It has become clear that one of the issues on operators' minds is the truck manufacturers' cartel, and the likelihood of receiving compensation following the action brought by the European Commission (EC) against European truck manufacturers.

The total fines imposed to date equate to €2.9 billion and are by far the largest amounts ever imposed by the European Union (EU) for any case of this nature.

By way of background, the truck manufacturers (with the exception of Scania) assisted the EC in its investigation and admitted to the operation of a cartel from 1997 to 2011. As the immunity applicant, MAN’s fine was reduced to zero. Scania have also chosen not to settle the case and so the investigations of the EC continue against them.

The EC determined that the cartel operated across the EU by:

  • Co-ordinating “gross list” prices for trucks,
  • Passing on the costs of emission technology to customers for Euros III to VI,
  • Co-ordinating the introduction of emission technologies for Euros III to VI.

Following the EC’s findings there appears to be the potential for a damages claim against the truck manufacturers. Such a claim can be brought before the UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) and the findings of the EC will, in essence, prove liability.

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