News

WHAT HAPPENED?

ILLEGAL PRICE FIXING BY EUROPEAN TRUCK MANUFACTURERS

On 19 July 2016, the European Commission announced that it had fined manufacturers of medium and heavy trucks over 2.926 billion EUR for their participation in a price-fixing cartel that covered the entire European Economic Area and that lasted for 14 years from 1997 to 2011. On 27 September 2017, a sixth truck manufacturer was fined an additional 880 million EUR by the Commission for its participation. This is the largest fine imposed on a cartel in Commission history, stressing the severity of the cartel and the impact it had on the market.

The following companies have admitted their participation in the cartel to the Commission: MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF. The Commission has determined that a sixth company, Scania, also participated in the cartel.

A recent study prepared for the European Commission showed that overcharges in international cartels such as this one range on average between 10-20% (Oxera 2009 at ix). Another academic study concluded that the median cartel overcharge is 30-33% for international cartels (Connor & Lande 2008 at 13). These are averages, however, and damages in this case will need to be assessed by expert economists.

We will help you to take action against the Truck Cartel in order to obtain compensation for your injuries. You paid too much for your trucks, and we have a sophisticated solution for you.

WHY JOIN OUR GROUP?

There are no upfront costs or risks for entities that decide to join our group. Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery is compensated only upon success and as a percentage of any recovery in order to cover costs and compensate attorneys and experts.
Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery is permitted under Dutch law to receive assignments of claims in exchange for an agreement to prosecute and return proceeds to the assignors. This allows us to aggregate the claims of a large group of cartel victims in a single action and serve as the plaintiff in that litigation. This means that we (and not you) bear the brunt of the litigation burdens, including funding the litigation, hiring the lawyers, retaining the experts, and negotiating with the cartel members.

Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery has retained a team of experienced lawyers and economists to help pursue the claims of entities that decide to join our group. We have retained bureau Brandeis, an Amsterdam-based law firm specialized in complex litigation, to serve as our litigators. Additionally, Crowell & Moring LLP and the Law Offices of Francis O. Scarpulla, two international law firms with extensive experience in pursuing damages from global price-fixing cartels, have agreed to provide support and assistance, each as to specific cartel members.

Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery will assert claims on behalf of the entities that decide to join our group in the Dutch court system. The Netherlands is a plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction with extensive prior experience with large cartel cases, low costs compared to other jurisdictions, and minimal adverse cost risks. In addition, the Netherlands permits claims to be assigned to special purpose vehicles, such as the Stichting Truck Cartel Recovery, and brought in a single, consolidated action that helps to minimize litigation burdens and publicity for individual claimants.

EUROPEAN COMMISSION INVESTIGATION AND FINES

On 19 July 2016, the European Commission (EC) announced that it fined five companies €2.926 billion (the EC’s highest ever cartel fine) for their role in a cartel from 1997 to 2011 that fixed the prices of medium and heavy trucks used in road haulage and that passed on the costs of compliance with stricter European emission standards to customers. On 27 September 2017, a sixth truck manufacturer was fined an additional 880 million EUR by the Commission for its participation.
The addressees (and their respective fines), which are said to account for 90 % of the medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, include:

According to the EC, the addressees coordinated:

  • the “gross list” prices (i.e., the factory price) they each set
  • the timing of the introduction of technology needed to meet stricter European emission standards and
  • the passing on of the costs incurred in meeting those stricter emission standards

They did this through regular meetings that began in January 1997 and became more formalized over time. The decision applies to medium trucks (weighing between 6 and 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons).
The geographic scope of the cartel covered the entire European Economic Area (EEA).

The EC’s decisions establish liability against these entities under European law.

Resources: Link 1 Link 2 Link 3 Link 4 Link 5 Link 6

Addressee Fine
MAN leniency recipient
Volvo / Renault €670 million
Daimler €1 billion
Iveco €495 million
DAF €753 million
Scania €880 million

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