Truck Makers Hit with Near €3bn Price-Fixing Fine

Some of Europe’s largest truck makers have been hit with a record fine of €2.93bn after operating a price-fixing cartel for 14 years.

Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, said the companies “colluded on the pricing and on passing on the costs for meeting environmental standards to customers” over a “very long time”, writes Peter Campbell.

The companies are Iveco, DAF, Volvo/Renault, Daimler and MAN.

MAN, as the whistleblower in the case, has avoided a penalty that would have been €1.2bn.

Volvo, Iveco and Daimler also saw their fines reduced by co-operating with the investigation.

Scania, which is owned by VW Group, has decided not to settle with the Commission and is still being investigated.

Before the announcement four of the companies – Iveco, DAF, Volvo and Daimler – had between them set aside €2.85bn to cover the costs of the penalties.

The fine is the largest ever for a cartel, dwarfing the previous record of €1.4bn for a television and computer monitor cartel in 2012.

“We have today put down a marker by imposing record fines for a serious infringement. In all, there are over 30 million trucks on European roads, which account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role for the European economy.

It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other.

For 14 years they colluded on the pricing and on passing on the costs for meeting environmental standards to customers. This is also a clear message to companies that cartels are not accepted.”

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