TRUCKS CARTEL – COMPENSATION CLAIMS
If you purchased medium and heavy trucks between 1997 and 2011
you may be entitled to compensation
The Trucks Cartel
Truck Cartel Press Release
On 19 July 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) announced a Settlement Decision against 5 leading truck manufacturers, Daimler, Volvo/Renault, Iveco, MAN and DAF (the “Cartelists”) for fixing the price of medium and heavy duty trucks over a 14 year period between 1997 and 2011. The fines imposed on the Cartelists are amongst the largest ever imposed by the Commission, together totalling over € 2.9 billion, reflecting the long running and serious nature of the cartel.
Price fixing and cartel conduct
The Cartelists were found to have co-ordinated the pricing of trucks between 1997 and 2011. They also colluded on delaying the introduction of new emission technologies required to meet environmental standards Euro III, Euro IV, Euro V and Euro VI and in relation to passing on the costs of those changes to customers. The Decision covers both medium-duty trucks (6 – 16 tonnes) and heavy-duty trucks (above 16 tonnes) and the conduct is stated to have covered the entire European Economic Area.
A further truck manufacturer, Scania, was not named in the Decision, but remains under investigation by the Commission.
Losses caused by the Trucks Cartel and Rights to claim compensation
Financial losses caused by cartels
It is well established that anti-competitive behavior, such as price fixing and cartel activity causes harm in the form of higher prices and/or lost profits.
«Fighting cartels is a very high priority for the European Commission. This is because of the serious harm cartels cause to consumers and businesses. And the huge damage cartels inflict on the economy as a whole in terms of removing incentives to compete on prices or to innovate.»
Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, 24 June 2015.
Right to Compensation
As stated in the Commission Press Release, any business which purchased trucks affected by the alleged cartel has a right to claim compensation for any loss suffered as a result of the higher prices which they had to pay for trucks due to the Cartel, together with interest since the date of purchase.
The Trucks cartel will have affected a significant number of hauliers operating in Europe, together with companies which retain their own fleets. This will include businesses which purchased medium and heavy duty trucks from MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF between 1997 and 2011. Affected businesses may also be able to claim compensation from the Cartelists in respect of truck purchases from Scania or other manufacturers, on the basis that the market price of trucks is likely to have been artificially increased by the Cartel regardless of whether Scania/other manufacturers are later found to have participated in the cartel behaviour.
Quantifying the claim
- The amount of compensation will be calculated with the help of expert economists who, as a first step, will use claimant records together with public data sources to assess the “overcharge” caused by the cartel. This will be the amount which businesses paid for trucks between 1997 and 2011 compared to the amount which they should have been charged if there had not been a cartel – e.g. if prices were 10% higher than they should have been, there would be an overcharge of 10% on the price which they paid for trucks.
- Where a claimant can show that they suffered an overcharge, and did not directly pass the cost on down the supply chain, they will be entitled to compensation together with interest from the date of purchase to the date of compensation. Other forms of harm, such as loss of sales, may also be considered.
- The average overcharge caused by cartels has been found by studies to range from between 10% to 20%, however this will be subject to a number of different factors and will need to be assessed on a case by case basis.
- Hausfeld is working with expert economists to quantify the loss suffered by businesses affected by the Trucks cartel who wish to pursue their right to compensation either individually or as part of a group of affected businesses
- Businesses who purchased trucks during the cartel period and would like further information in relation to their options for recovery of compensation are invited to contact us using the form below.
- Traditional fee paid basis – We can work on a traditional hourly fee basis for clients who wish to fund the legal fees, expert and other third party expenses themselves, either on an individual claim, or potentially sharing costs with a group of other claimants.
- Alternative funding structure – For businesses who prefer to avoid the costs and risks of litigation, we have developed an alternate fee structure using third party litigation funders and insurance, which enables claimants to pursue their claims on a group basis, without up-front cost, so that a fee is only payable where the claim succeeds and compensation is obtained.
For general information about Hausfeld please go to www.hausfeld.com
Phone: +44 (0)20 7665 5000
For further information about your potential Trucks claim please contact us using the enquiry form below:
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