EU Truck Cartel Hit With Record $3 Billion Fine

     (CN) — The European Commission on Tuesday slapped four truck makers with a record $3.22 billion fine for colluding to fix prices and pass on the costs of complying with emissions standards to consumers.
     Following an investigation, the commission found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF broke EU antitrust rules by colluding to fix medium and heavy truck prices over a 14-year period, from 1997 until 2011. The truck makers also colluded to pass on the costs of complying with the EU’s tough new emissions rules to consumers.
     MAN was not fined since it revealed the existence of the cartel to the commission. The other companies have acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case in exchange for a 10 percent reduction in their fines, the commission said.
     “We have today put down a marker by imposing record fines for a serious infringement,” competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. “In all, there are over 30 million trucks on European roads. 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.”
     Volvo/Renault, Daimler and Iveco will pay fines that have been further reduced because they cooperated during the investigation. Despite the reduction, however, Daimler’s share of the fine is over $1 billion.
     DAF received no cooperation bonus and will pay nearly $830 million, the commission said.

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