On 19 July 2016 the European Commission announced that it had fined manufacturers of medium and heavy duty trucks over €2.9 billion for their participation in a price fixing cartel covering the entire European Economic Area (EEA) and lasting 14 years from 1997 to 2011. The companies found to have been involved in the cartel were MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF. The investigation in relation to Scania is ongoing as Scania has not agreed to settle the case with the Commission.
According to the Commission, the cartelists coordinated the factory price of trucks. The cartelists also engaged in illegal discussions regarding the timing and coordination of the introduction of emission technologies and the passing on to customers of the costs for those emissions technologies.
This cartel behaviour is likely to have in particular artificially increased the price of trucks throughout Europe i.e. purchasers of trucks are likely to have been illegally overcharged by the truck manufacturers. Any person or business affected by the trucks cartel is entitled to full compensation. Given the very long period of the cartel and the fact that victims can claim interest as of the day the damage occurred not only larger logistic companies or other companies with a fleet, but also companies with a relatively low number of trucks may have suffered significant damages as a result of the trucks cartel. CDC expects that the implementation of Directive 104/2014 into national law, which is due by the end of 2016, will facilitate the enforcement of such damage claims. At least from the perspective of German law applicable limitation periods are unlikely to expire before December 2017.
CDC is currently assessing potential damages resulting from the European trucks cartel including overcharges paid following artificially increased prices for medium and heavy duty trucks and higher costs for fuel arising in particular from the delay of the introduction of new emission technologies.
Please feel free to contact CDC to find out how we can assist your business.