19. Jan 17

GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte: Experience in enforcing antitrust claims

Parties that have suffered loss as a result of the truck cartel are entitled to compensation. The law firm GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte has the requisite experience in enforcing these kinds of claims.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: Buyers and lessees of the affected vehicles suffered extreme losses due to illegal price-fixing agreements arranged by the truck manufacturers Daimler, DAF, MAN, Iveco and Volvo/Renault. The European Commission has already imposed a fine to the tune of almost three billion euros against the cartel members for violations of antitrust law. In doing so, the Commission also paved the way for those that purchased and leased the trucks to bring claims for damages, it no longer being necessary to prove that infringements of antitrust law occurred. Notwithstanding this, the claims need to be actively asserted. GRP Rainer Rechtsanwälte has the experience required to ensure that these kinds of claims are successfully enforced.

Among other things, the cartel members illegally fixed prices for medium and heavy-duty trucks, i.e. trucks weighing between 6 and 16 tons and heavier, between the years 1997 and 2001. This gave rise to a right to claim damages for those that purchased or leased these vehicles. It is not possible to attribute a general figure to individual claims. In order to determine the exact amount of any damages, it is necessary to prepare an expert assessment. Forwarders and transportation companies can also band together in arranging such an assessment as a way of minimising costs.

The claims can be enforced in court. That being said, there ought to be a good chance of being able to arrive at an out-of-court settlement with the cartel members, as it can be assumed that the truck manufacturers have made appropriate provisions for damages claims and are interested in reaching a solution out of court.

When asserting the claims, it is also important not to lose sight of the statute of limitations. In the case of trucks that were procured between 1997 and 2001, the claims could become time-barred as early as mid-January of 2017. As for more recent trucks, various dates have to be considered for the purposes of prescription. The statute of limitations is expected to kick in for trucks purchased in 2002 in the summer of 2017, with this taking place one year later for trucks procured in 2003. This is the way in which claims gradually prescribe.

To ensure that damages claims are asserted both on time and effectively, the aggrieved parties can turn to lawyers who are experienced in the field of antitrust law.

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