Truck cartel details emerge
THE BRITISH ROAD HAULAGE Association says that the European Commission’s settlement decision in the Truck Cartel case shows that MAN, Daimler, Iveco, Volvo/Renault and DAF “admit they broke EU competition rules.”
The Association is appealing to UK transport operators to join its bid to represent the haulage industry to “reclaim the overpayment transport firms made for their vehicles during the period the cartel operated – from 1997 to 2011 – and potentially beyond.”
It says that a recently-acquired nonconfidential version of the EC decision shows that the truckmakers “agreed on the timing of the introduction of new vehicle emission technologies, as well as how much to charge for the emissions technologies.”
The RHA says that the document provides “a glimpse of the extensive and broadranging nature of the Truck Cartel, giving key details of how the cartel was organised and how the European truck manufacturers colluded anti-competitively on truck pricing and emissions technologies.”
Between 1997 and 2004, it says, “anticompetitive meetings between senior managers of the firms, at headquarter level, took place several times a year at trade fairs and other events, and there were regular exchanges by phone and email.
“From 2002 onwards, there were regular meetings among business persons of the firms’ German subsidiaries who would report back to their respective headquarters.”
The Association says that the manufacturers “harmonised their respective gross price lists across the European Economic Area (EEA) at the outset of the cartel.
“They colluded on gross (and sometimes net) price increases for medium and heavy trucks throughout the EEA. This included exchanging detailed spreadsheets showing intended future prices, split by truck standard model for each manufacturer.”
The manufacturers also discussed reducing rebates when the Euro was introduced, says the RHA, and adds: “The detail contained in the document is further evidence of the importance of the RHA’s large-scale legal action against the manufacturers to reclaim the cost of overpayment for members.”