Last summer, the European Commission imposed heavy fines on five truck manufacturers for violations of antirust law. The Swedish truck manufacturer Scania is now being asked to pay up as well.
The so-called “truck cartel” made headlines last summer. The European Commission had imposed fines totaling just under 2.9 million euros against the manufacturers MAN, Daimler, DAF, Iveco and Volvo/Renault for entering into illegal arrangements. Scania did not participate in the settlement and disputed the antirust accusations. Consequently, the European Commission continued its investigations in relation to Scania. The result: The Commission announced on September 27, 2017 that the truck manufacturer must now pay a fine of around 880 million euros for violating EU antitrust rules.
The cartel members had entered into illegal arrangements between 1997 and 2011. The Commission has since concluded that Scania was also involved in these arrangements over a period of 14 years. These concerned, in particular, agreements pertaining to the gross list price for medium and heavy-duty trucks, concerning the timetable for the introduction of technologies designed to lower emissions as well as passing on these costs to customers. The cartel covered the entirety of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Now that the Commission’s investigations have come to an end, all those who were harmed by the cartel, private individuals and businesses alike, are now able to assert damages claims against the cartel members. We at the commercial law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte note that the aggrieved parties are expected to have paid inflated prices between 1997 and 2011 for trucks that were approximately 10 to 20 per cent higher in price than they ought to have been, irrespective of whether they were purchased or leased. The advantage of this is that it is no longer necessary to prove unlawful conduct on the part of the cartel members, and this paves the way for damages claims. It is worth noting here that the extent of any harm caused may substantially exceed the fines. Those concerned can turn to lawyers who are experienced in the field of antitrust law to enforce and protect their interests.
Many businesses have suffered considerable harm resulting from these illegal cartel arrangements. It is now possible to obtain compensation for this financial loss and in so doing potentially preserve businesses’ competitiveness.