The court in Munich for the first time started proceedings against truck producers involved in price collusion. The case concerns a compensation claim for damages resulting from the illegal agreements between manufacturers on the price of trucks.
In the District Court in Munich, a trial started on Wednesday regarding compensation claims from truck manufacturers who in 1997-2011 formed a price-fixing cartel. The case was brought to court by a German forwarding company against MAN and Iveco.
The forwarder based in Berlin demands compensation because, as he claims, he bought several hundred trucks at inflated prices. In turn, truck manufacturers refute accusations as unfounded, because the customer was not harmed, the German media reports.
Until now, the cases brought to court by transport companies against the producers creating the cartel were settled in the first instance in favor of the plaintiffs. However, no damages have been determined by the court.
Probably the largest lawsuit was filed by the Federal Association for Road Transport Logistics and Waste Management (BGL) in Munich. It represents 3,200 forwarding and transport companies, and the case concerns 85,000 trucks. BGL estimates that carriers’ losses amount to over 500 million euros. The trial will start next year.
Record punishment imposed by the European Commission
Manufacturers of MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF trucks in July 2016 were punished with a record-breaking fine in the history of the European Union, totaling almost 3 billion euros. Collusion will cost the manufacturers much more because carriers from all over Europe are fighting for damages. It is estimated that companies can get up to 100 billion euros in the entire EU.
On 27 September 2017, the European Commission also imposed a fine on the Swedish car manufacturer 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 penalized in 2016, determined the prices of trucks and the costs of new technologies limiting exhaust emissions. In December last year, Scania filed a motion to appeal against the decision of the European Commission on the imposed fine.