What is the Truck Cartel?
On 19 July 2016 the European Commission imposed a record fine of 2.93 billion Euros on 5 truck manufacturers for operating an illegal cartel in contravention of competition legislation.
Which truck manufacturers were fined?
The following truck manufacturers were subject to fines:
- MAN – (received full immunity for revealing the existence of the Cartel)
Together the manufacturers account for around 90% of every medium and heavy truck produced in Europe. Scania have denied liability and remains under investigation by the Commmision.
What did the cartel do?
The Commission investigation revealed the cartel had engaged in the following:
- co-ordinated prices at “gross list” (factory price) level;
- the timing for the introduction of emission technologies;
- the passing on to customer of the costs for the emissions technologies
Which types of truck are affected?
Medium trucks (weighing between 6 and 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons).
What period did the cartel cover?
The cartel operated for a period of 14 years from 1997 until 2011.
Could my business make a claim?
If your business purchased a truck or trucks during the cartel period (or shortly thereafter) then it is likely that you paid too much and will have a claim to recover overpayments. The Commission decision constitutes binding proof that the behaviour took place and was illegal.
Even although the Commission has fined the companies concerned, damages may still be awarded without any reduction on account of the fines. Businesses may also be able to claim compensation from the cartel companies in respect of truck purchases from Scania or other manufacturers.
What is the likely level of damages?
The sums recoverable could be very significant indeed. Each case will turn on its own merits and circumstances but a general rule of thumb based on work carried out by competition economists is that damages could amount to up to 26% of the purchase price plus interest.
What if I leased trucks rather than purchased?
It may be still be possible to make claims where trucks were leased rather than purchased.
Where should I raise the claim?
There are various courts and tribunals which may have jurisdiction including the High Court in London, Court of Session in Scotland and Competition Appeals Tribunal. We can discuss jurisdiction with you as part of a wider review of strategy.
Why use Anderson Strathern?
We are already acting for a number of clients, both public bodies and corporate entities in pursuing Truck Cartel claims. This means that we have already built up significant expertise. Further, in aggregating claims, this may make it possible to secure more advantageous rates should you choose to fund the claim through third party funders. We have a dedicated team who are working on these matters. To this end, we have already:
- retained and secured advice from a specialist Competition Counsel;
- are already in discussions with relevant possible expert witnesses;
- secured specialist Truck Cartel funding packages; and
- built up specialist knowledge of these Truck Cartel claims.
To the best of our knowledge, we are the only firm of Scottish solicitors familiar with and pursuing these claims.
How much will it cost?
We are able to offer a menu of funding options. These range from traditional litigation funding based on hourly rates, to a no risk funding package underwritten by third party funders, as well as a range of options in between. The no risk funding solution enables truck purchasers to take steps to recover the sums due to them, without incurring any financial cost or risk.
What do we do next?
We are keen to discuss matters with you. Please contact Head of Truck Cartel Damages team Katrina Lumsdaine by telephone on 0131 270 7789 or email Katrina Lumsdaine.