Truck makers fined A$4.3 billion

EU fines truck makers A$4.3 billion for colluding on truck prices, and the timing and cost of emissions technology


MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF have all been found guilty by the European Commission of breaking EU antitrust rules and colluding over a 14-year period to fix truck pricing and passing on the costs of delayed emissions technology.

The result is a €2.93 billion (A$4.3 billion) fine spread across the companies, excluding MAN who avoided a fine of around €1.2 billion (A$1.76 billion) by being the whistle-blower.

The biggest fine was for Daimler, which copped a number just over €1 billion (A$1.5 billion) for its involvement, followed by DAF with a €753 million (A$1.1 billion) fine.

Volvo/Renault was charged €670 million (A$984 million) and Iveco was handed the smallest fine at €494 million (A$725 million).

All parties received a 10 per cent discount for acknowledging their involvement and settling the case.

All parties except Scania, which continue to be part of an investigation.

According to commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager, the imposed fines were for a "serious infringement."

"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," she says.

"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."

The commission found that the truck makers, from 1997 till 2011, coordinated prices at ‘gross list’ level, meaning the factory cost of vehicles were set; they coordinated the timing of emission technology introduction, covering Euro 3 to Euro 6; and also passed on the cost of the technology onto the consumer.

Details organised at trade events and through online communication, the findings say.

"Between 1997 and 2004, meetings were held at senior manager level, sometimes at the margins of trade fairs or other events," the commission says. "This was complemented by phone conversations."

"From 2004 onwards, the cartel was organised via the truck producers' German subsidiaries, with participants generally exchanging information electronically."

The commission says the truck makers made no effort to avoid or manipulate compliance with the new emission standards nor did it find any links between this cartel and any efforts to circumvent the anti-pollution system fitted to certain vehicles.



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