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Mar 7, 2017

Damages: The International Lawuit Festival against TRUCKMAKERS

* New York - Truck makers to face antitrust damages action in Germany, UK, Ireland and ... : It is likely that market prices for trucks generally were artificially inflated by cartel’s activity

... Daimler received the heaviest fine, €1 billion, while DAF’s fine was €753 million, Volvo’s was €670 million, and Iveco was subject to a fine of €495 million. MAN, a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, was not subject to monetary penalty, because it had brought the cartel to the commission’s attention, the EC said, but MAN could have been dinged €1 billion.

--- According to the EC, from 1997 through 2004, company executives colluded at trade shows and over the phone to discuss the timing of gross list price increases for the trucks, which are the basis for the prices paid by final buyers. From 2004 to 2011, the coordination was done by the companies’ German subsidiaries, who mostly communicated electronically, the watchdog said... The cartel also discussed when to introduce trucks that complied with the increasingly strict Euro III to Euro VI environmental emissions standards and discussed passing on the costs of compliance to the buyers, the commission said... Now, a German transportation and logistics industry association said Wednesday that it has tapped Hausfeld LLP to head up a lawsuit seeking damages from truck producers who were fined a record €2.93 billion (then $3.23 billion) by regulators for participating in a price-fixing cartel... Bundesverband Güterkraftverkehr Logistik und Entsorgung eV issued a statement Wednesday saying BGL was looking to bundle as many as 100,000 purchases and rentals in the suit, which targets trucks made by MAN SE, Volvo/Renault, Daimler AG, Iveco Ltd. and DAF Trucks NV. BGL said the suit will be managed by Financialright GmbH, a firm that provides information technology and other services for collective actions, and be financed by litigation funding firm Burford Capital LLC... BGL CEO Dirk Engelhardt said in a German statement that the suit enables the groups’ member companies to have their claims represented by a strong community. The suit is open to nonmembers as well, BGL said... The commission has alleged that truck maker Scania AB was also involved in the cartel, but the company did not settle with the EC and is still being investigated... 

** In November an association of U.K. trucking companies, the Road Haulage Association, said it would seek to represent a class of operators looking to be compensated for damages from the price-fixing scheme before the Competition Appeal Tribunal under the U.K.’s new collective action regime... The group said that obtaining representative status in the action could take as long as a year and that it could be another two before any damages are paid out...

*** Irish hauliers take dozens of cases against European truck makers. High Court actions follow Brussels inquiry into truck manufacturers’ cartel... 
(Photo 2 by Erik Abel/Bloomberg - Scania AB factory in Sodertalje, Sweden) 

... While no finding has been make against Scania, an investigation by the European Commission into the company is ongoing and Irish hauliers have taken proceedings against the truck manufacturer... Dozens of damages claims by Irish hauliers against Europe’s biggest truck manufacturers over alleged anti-competitive practices have come before the High Court... The claims follow determination by the European Commission in July, 2016, that five major truck manufacturers – MAN, Volvo Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF – had broken EU anti-trust laws...
(Photo 1. ) -- New York, USA - Law360, by Matthew Perlman/Eric Kroh/Edrienne Su - March 2, 2017

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