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Scania fined €880m in latest EU Truck Cartel ruling

10th October 2017

Scania fined â¬880m in latest EU Truck Cartel ruling

As the European Commission fines Scania €880 million for participating in the well-publicised trucks cartel, a Midlands legal expert reminds those affected that help is at hand.

Matt Dudley, a Partner in the Dispute Resolution team at Higgs & Sons, says those affected by the scandal include customers buying and leasing trucks, and that compensation could be between €8,000 and €12,000 per truck.

In July 2016 a ruling by the European Commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Iveco, and DAF broke EU competition rules. The ruling found that the truck makers colluded for 14 years on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules - in short that they operated an illegal cartel.

Collectively, the five organisations were fined a record sum of €2.9 billion. All companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case. Scania however decided not to settle, and an investigation was carried out. As a result, the Commission ruled last month that Scania had broken EU antitrust rules and fined them €880,523,000.

Higgs & Sons is now looking to take forward claims for damages on behalf of those affected, whether collectively or on an individual basis. Matt Dudley explains:

"The infringement covered the entire EEA and lasted for 14 years, from 1997 until 2011, when the Commission carried out unannounced inspections of the firms.

"The EU Commission's findings relate specifically to the market for the manufacturing of medium trucks (weighing between 6 to 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons). Including Scania, the manufacturers involved represent almost all of the medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe.”

"Any person or business affected by anti-competitive behaviour may seek damages," continued Matt. "In cases before national courts, a Commission decision constitutes binding proof that the behaviour took place and was illegal."

Even though the Commission has fined the companies concerned, damages may be awarded without being reduced on account of the Commission fine.

"A lot of work has already been undertaken by expert economists regarding the financial effects of the cartel. We understand that the average overcharge to customers resulting from the operation of the cartel is likely to have been significant.

"The early signs are positive. We anticipate receiving a high level of interest based on the number of clients we act for, and clients of our professional contacts, who will have acquired trucks manufactured by either MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler (Mercedes-Benz), Scania, Iveco, and DAF during the period in question, whether first hand or second hand, direct from dealers or otherwise, and whether outright or via finance companies.

"We're still at an early stage of considering key issues such as viability, funding and risk and we recognise that in order to present an attractive proposition, claims will need to be funded without material risk to clients. We have received positive feedback from a funding broker in this regard.

"We are aware of others who are approaching businesses, but this is to be expected given the scale of the anti-competitive behaviour and the number of businesses likely to have been affected. We believe that many of our clients will prefer us to act for them in pursuing claims for compensation. They know they can trust us to act in line with their best interests."

If you would like to know more about making a claim for damages, contact Higgs & Sons at truckcartel@higgsandsons.co.uk

 

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