The EC finds that all these truck makers colluded for 14 years from 1997 until 2011 on mid- and heavy-duty truck gross list pricing, as well as the timing of emissions technology launches and the passing on of costs associated with emission compliance – all the way from Euro 3 to Euro 6.
Daimler has been fined just over €1 billion; DAF, €753milion; Volvo/Renault, €670 million; Iveco, €495 million. MAN escaped a charge estimated at around €1.2 billion.
The EC says that its fines took into account each company’s truck sales throughout the EAA (European Economic Area), as well as the seriousness of the infringement, their high combined market share, the geographic scope and the duration of the cartel.
It also says all those fined would have faced significantly stiffer penalties had they not acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case.
Proceedings have been opened separately against Scania, which was not covered by this decision.
In brief detail, the EC finds that between 1997 and 2004, meetings were held at senior manager level – sometimes at the margins of trade fairs and similar events – and complemented by phone conversations.
From 2004 onwards, the cartel was managed via the truck producers’ German subsidiaries, with participants exchanging information electronically.
“We have today put down a marker by imposing record fines for a serious infringement,” comments Commissioner for competition Margrethe Vestager.
“It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other,” she continues.
“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.”