Almost 8,000 carriers from the United Kingdom joined the Road Haulage Association’s claim for compensation from a group of commercial vehicle manufacturers who were found to be operating a price-fixing cartel. These manufacturers applied illegal practices for 14 years. The total amount of compensation for which they fight reaches almost half the amount of fines imposed by the European Commission on the truck manufacturers – more than £1.5bn.
7800 carriers joined the appeal in the United Kingdom to fight for compensation for trucks bought in 1997-2011 at inflated prices. The trial against truck manufacturers who were part of the price-fixing cartel during this period will start in June. British transport companies will apply for a total of 1.5 billion pounds of compensation.
The truck cartel operated for 14 years and it’s likely that its impact on truck prices continued even beyond that. We’re working tirelessly to ensure those truck operators who suffered, as a result, get the compensation they deserve.”- said Richard Burnett, CEO of RHA.
Compensation in Spain
At Murcia Court of Commerce No. 1, a sentence was passed on a Spanish citizen or a company (the plaintiff was not disclosed) at the end of 2018, reported the daily La Vanguardia.
The court decided that Volvo Group Spain was to pay the plaintiff 122,757 euros in compensation plus interest for the purchase of five lorries in October 2012. How was this possible since the cartel operated until 2011? The lawyer representing the plaintiff was able to prove that the price of trucks purchased in 2012 was still overstated due to the price collusion and by as much as 20.7 per cent, which amounts to 26 thousand euros per truck. This amount significantly exceeds the estimates of experts, which oscillated around the average amount of 10,000 euros per vehicle.
Record punishment imposed by the European Commission
In July 2016, truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF were fined by the European Commission with a record-breaking fine in EU history. Its total amount reached almost 3 billion euros.
Between 1997 and 2011, MAN, DAF, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault maintained price collusion on vehicles with a GVW from 6-16 tonnes and over 16 tonnes. The corporations pleaded guilty and accepted the decision of Brussels.
Just over a year later, on 27 September 2017, the European Commission imposed a fine on the Swedish car concern Scania for participation in the cartel. According to the Brussels decision, the penalty is 880 million euros.
As established by the European Commission, for 14 years the Swedish producer, together with five companies already punished in 2016, determined the prices of trucks and the costs of new technologies limiting exhaust emissions.
As evidenced by the court judgment in Spain and the number of claims in Germany, the collusion will cost the companies much more.