Scania said it will appeal against the European Commission’s decision to fine the truck manufacturer €880m (£770m) for colluding with five other truckmakers in a price cartel between 1997 and 2011.
Four of the participants in the cartel – DAF, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault – had reached a settlement for €2.9bn with the Commission, with MAN being spared a fine for acting as the initial whistleblower.
Scania, however, refused to settle, which led to the Commission proceeding with a full antitrust investigation.
Margrethe Vestager, EU commissioner for competition, said: “This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe. These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other – also on environmental improvements.”
She added that the fine for Scania could have been 10% lower had the truckmaker collaborated in the investigation.
In the UK, Richard Burnett, chief executive for the Road Haulage Association, said: “Today’s massive fine on Scania confirms how serious the EU truck cartel was – it takes the overall fine imposed for the cartel to almost €4 billion. However, the fine does nothing to compensate truck operators for the increased costs they have suffered because of the cartel. The RHA is leading the way in the UK to obtain compensation for the haulage industry and has almost 2,000 operators signed up to its group claim.
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“I hope the fine on Scania today will persuade those truck operators who have not yet signed up to the RHA’s claim (perhaps because they purchased or leased Scania trucks) now to do so.”
The RHA launched a legal action against the manufacturers involved last June.
According to the EU Commission’s statement, the cartel had involved: manipulating trucks’ factory prices; colluding on the timing for the introduction of cleaner emission technologies; and passing the costs for implementing said technologies on to customers.