Truck manufacturers respond to €2.9bn cartel fine

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Truck manufacturers have responded to the combined €2.9bn (£2.5bn) fine they were issued by the European Commission (EC) yesterday (19 July).

Five manufacturers were hit with the largest fine the EC has ever imposed for a cartel after it found that they had colluded for 14 years on truck prices and the timing of, and passing on the costs of, the introduction of emissions technology.

Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, which was hit with a €1bn fine, said it regretted what had happened and had taken appropriate action some time ago. It received a 40% reduction in the fine it initially faced for co-operating with the EC’s investigation.

A spokesman said: “Daimler takes its responsibility with regard to competition law very seriously and has taken all appropriate measures to ensure that all employees act in compliance with applicable law.

“The company has strengthened its internal controls and has intensified its regular and comprehensive employee training with regard to antitrust law and competition law.”

Martin Lundstedt, president and CEO at Volvo Trucks and Renault Trucks parent Volvo Group, said the manufacturer was convinced the events had not had any impact on its customers. It received a 50% reduction in its fine to €670m for co-operating with the investigation and settling with the EC.

“We have taken these events very seriously from the outset and our full cooperation with the Commission resulted in a very substantial reduction in the fine,” added Lundstedt.

Daf Trucks received a €752m fine after receiving a 10% reduction in the charge for settling the case with the EC.

A Daf spokesman said it believed the exchange of factory list prices had no effect on customers and said the final amount it was fined was lower than expected.

MAN avoided a fine of approximately €1.2bn as it informed the EC about the existence of the cartel.

It said in a statement: “The MAN code of conduct includes a clear belief in free and fair competition. The company does not tolerate any unfair business practices or illegal conduct.”

Iveco, which was fined €494m, and Scania declined to comment.

Scania’s involvement in the cartel is still being investigated by the EC.

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