The courts of San Sebastián and Valencia passed judgments in March that were favourable to carriers as regards compensation from truck manufacturers who had formed a cartel for several years.
The trials were held for compensation from truck manufacturers, who in 1997-2011 remained in price collusion.
The court accepted the expert opinions presented in both cases by the law firm CCS Abogados, which represents the carriers in the lawsuits organised by CETM. According to the document, during the years the cartel operated, carriers overpaid on average by 16.35% for vehicles
Accordingly, Commercial Court No 1 in San Sebastián ordered Renault Trucks SAS to pay €221,000 for the purchase of four trucks. It should be noted, however, that in the case of one of the vehicles, compensation was calculated in the amount of €72,500, i.e. pursuant to the judgment, the operator paid as much as 24% more than it should have paid for the vehicle.
Meanwhile, the Valencia Commercial Court No 3 ruled that Iveco is to pay €44,500 for a vehicle purchased during the years of collusion plus interest from the date of purchase to the date of judgment.
Both judgments are favourable to companies seeking compensation, as are previous judgments of the courts of Valencia, Cáceres, Valladolid, Oviedo and San Sebastián.
Another class action in Germany
It is much less common for carriers to receive compensation from truck manufacturers in German courts. However, the law firm Financialright, which handles class actions organised by the German association BGL, does not lay down arms. Last Friday, lawyers filed another lawsuit at the Munich District Court. The case concerns a total compensation of €270 million for 2,900 companies for the purchase of 35,000 vehicles.
The court in Munich dismissed a similar claim for formal reasons in February this year. At that time, compensation of almost €900 million was being sought for 84,000 vehicles. The law firm has already appealed against this verdict and drew conclusions from its loss while filing another suit.
Record-breaking penalty imposed by the European Commission
Truck manufacturers MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF were fined in July 2016 with a record-breaking fine in the history of the European Union, totalling almost €3 billion. The collusion will cost companies much more – carriers from all over Europe fight for compensation. It is estimated that companies can win up to €100 billion in the whole European Union.
On 27th September 2017, the European Commission also imposed a fine on the Swedish automotive company Scania for its participation in the cartel. According to the decision of Brussels, the fine is €880 million. Scania, as established by the EC, for 14 years had also been setting truck prices and costs for new emission abatement technologies with five other manufacturers, who were already punished in 2016.