On 19 July 2016, the European Commission issued a press release (IP/16/2582) in which it announced to have imposed a record total of almost € 3 billion of fines on five truck manufacturers for cartel infringements.
The Commission states that it found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, who together account for approximately 90% of European production of medium and heavy trucks, participated in a cartel between 1997 and 2011. In particular, the participants allegedly “coordinated” so-called ‘gross list’ prices (which form the basis for the actual pricing at national and local level), colluded with regard to the timing of the introduction of the Euro III and IV emission technologies as well as with regard to passing-on the costs of these introductions to their customers. According to the Commission’s findings, the cartel members initially met at senior management level (both physically and by telephone). Several meetings took place during industry trade fairs. Since 2004, the contacts took the form of electronical exchanges between the participants’ German subsidiaries.
MAN reported the alleged cartel to the European Commission and by doing so received full immunity from fines. All other addressees except DAF received leniency discounts between 10 and 40%. In addition, all addressees agreed to participate in a settlement procedure with the Commission, which entitled them to a reduction of their fines of 10%. Scania refused to take part in such proceedings, as a result of which ordinary proceedings against this manufacturer are still ongoing.
The Commission explicitly calls for affected persons or firms to claim their damages in civil courts. Individual fines were: Volvo/Renault € 670 million, Daimler € 1.008 billion, Iveco € 495 million and DAF € 753 million.