On 19 July 2016, the European Commission (EC) found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF breached EU Antitrust rules. The Commission has imposed a record fine of EUR 2,926,499,000. MAN was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. All companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case.
The EC decision
The EC found that the anticompetitive behavior of the Truck Manufacturers was related to (at least):
- coordinating prices at “gross list” level for medium (6-16 tons) and heavy (>16 tons) trucks in the EEA;
- the timing for the introduction of emission technologies for medium and heavy trucks to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards (from Euro III through to the currently applicable Euro VI); and
- the passing on to customers of the costs for the emissions technologies required to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards (from Euro III through to the currently applicable Euro VI).
- Coordinating their behavior in relation to the introduction of the Euro.
The five Truck Manufacturers listed in the decision acknowledged their liability for the cartel and reached a settlement with the EC.
Scania was not covered by the settlement decision taken by the EC against MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF. Therefore, the EC continued the investigation against Scania under the standard cartel procedure. This resulted in a press release by the EC on 27 September 2017 stating that the EC imposed a fine of EUR 880,523,000 on Scania for its conduct in the truck cartel. Volkswagen’s MAN escaped a fine since they applied for leniency and revealed the existence of the cartel.
Scope and period
The infringement covered the entire European Economic Area (EEA), including the UK, and lasted about 14 years - roughly from 1997 until January 2011 - when the EC carried out unannounced inspections of the firms.
The Truck Cartel has affected a significant number of hauliers operating in Europe, together with companies which have their own fleets. These are businesses which purchased medium and heavy duty trucks from MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, Scania and/or DAF between 17 January 1997 and 20 September 2010 (MAN) /18 January 2011 (others). By virtue of its articles of association the Foundation represents the interests of all the affected companies.
Follow-on actions to obtain redress for damages
The Truck Manufacturers’ breach of European antitrust law gives rise to follow-on claims, since the truck cartel is likely to have illegally and artificially increased the prices of trucks throughout Europe. Truck Companies that have incurred damages as a result of the cartel will be entitled to compensation. The Netherlands is one of Europe’s most popular jurisdictions for follow-on cartel claims procedures. The popularity of the Netherlands can largely be explained by the efficient and practical, but at the same time careful approach of the Dutch courts dealing with such cases. Follow-on claims are often bundled in one joint lawsuit by a representative organization.
The Foundation uses the data exclusively to further determine the damages that have been incurred by the company and to represent the interests of the company in connection with these damages. The Data will not be handed on to third parties with the exceptions of regulators and courts. Upon request and respectively after completion of the matter all personal data will be sustainably deleted. All personal data will be processed in accordance with the Dutch General Data Protection Regulation (Implementation) Act (Uitvoeringswet Algemene verordening gegevensbescherming (UAVG)) and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).