Pennngtons Manches’ group action team is dovetailing with the firm’s transport sector lawyers to advise clients on claims arising out of the landmark 19 July 2016 European Commission decision that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF broke EU antitrust rules.
These truck makers were found to have colluded for 14 years on truck pricing and on passing on their costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The Commission imposed a record fine of €2,926,499,000 on the five manufacturers, by far the largest amount ever imposed for any case of this nature. A sixth manufacturer, Scania, is still being investigated by the Commission, although it may well be included as a target in claims for compensation.
Any business which purchased a medium or heavy truck (over 6 tonnes) in the EU between 1997 and 2011 may therefore be entitled to compensation from these manufacturers and possibly also from Scania. Compensation will include losses arising from the unlawful operation of a cartel in breach of Article 101 of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union and Article 53 of the EEA Agreement.
Penningtons Manches’ lawyers envisage that claims will be made to the Competition Appeal Tribunal and will cover the inflation in the purchase price caused by the operation of the cartel. They would expect this to be in the region of 10% - 20% of the total vehicle purchase price. Claims will also include part of the cost of the manufacturer’s emission technology costs which were subsequently passed on to purchasers.
Partner David Niven, who heads the group action team at Penningtons Manches, comments: “Businesses which purchased trucks affected by the cartel have a right to claim compensation for any loss suffered as a result of the higher prices which they had to pay, together with interest since the date of purchase. It has been reported that average compensation payments of £6,000 per truck could be attainable. Clearly, for fleet owners, the sums involved are substantial.”
The cartel could have affected those organisations which purchased new or second hand vehicles, whether outright, through lease agreements and / or through hire purchase agreements. It also makes no difference whether the purchases were made from dealers or directly from the manufacturer.
A number of schemes are currently being put in place to pursue claims against the cartel, although in some cases their funding costs are likely to impact on the level of net losses recoverable by participants.Penningtons Manches is representing clients on a no win no fee basis without funding.
If you require more information on claims relating to the cartel’s breach of EU antitrust rules, please contact David Niven at Penningtons Manches’ London office.