17. Oct 16

Record fine for truck cartel – Enforcing damages claims

Members of the truck cartel will have to pay a fine totaling approx. 2.9 billion euros, and things could become even more expensive if damages claims brought by clients follow.

GRP Rainer Lawyers and Tax Advisors in Cologne, Berlin, Bonn, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Munich, Stuttgart and London conclude: The European Commission has imposed a large fine on several big truck manufacturers for serious violations of antitrust law. The corporations in question are set to pay a total fine of around 2.9 billion euros on account of illegal price-fixing arrangements. Five companies have already accepted the penalty. One other truck manufacturer has yet to sign up to the European Commission’s settlement, claiming that it was not part of the cartel.

According to the European Commission, the cartel was said to have fixed the selling prices of trucks over a period of 14 years. The fine amounting to almost 3 billion euros is the highest that has ever been issued by the European Commission to date. The Commission justified this severe penalty by referring to the immense economic damage caused by the cartel. However, the truck manufacturers will not yet be able to put the matter to rest after paying the fine, as they may still be faced with claims for damages.

This is because the participating companies prevented fair competition with their arrangements. As a result, logistics companies as well as consumers suffered massive losses. Goods of all kinds became more expensive due to the cartel’s price fixing agreements. Following the decisions taken by the European Commission, the aggrieved individuals and companies can now assert claims for damages. These decisions of the European Commission serve as proof that the cartelists infringed applicable laws, which clears the way for damages claims. In order to enforce their claims, those concerned can turn to lawyers who are experienced in the field of antitrust law.

Following the decision of the European Commission, damages claims are likely to have good prospects of success. Violations of competition law or antitrust law can be severely punished. Companies that have suffered as a result of antitrust violations should therefore exploit the legal options available to them as a way of compensating for the losses incurred and maintaining competitiveness.

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