Scania wants no truck with heavy-duty cartel fines
Scania is the last of six lorry manufacturers to be fined over anticompetitive behaviour in Europe, writes Mark Smyth
Scania has said it will appeal the €880m fine imposed on it by the European Commission for its participation in a trucks cartel.
The fine follows those levied against Daimler, DAF, Iveco and Volvo-Renault at the end of 2016 totalling €3.8bn. These companies acknowledged their involvement in a cartel and agreed to a settlement with the commission. The largest fine was €1bn for Daimler. However, Scania refused to cooperate with the investigation
MAN Truck and Bus blew the whistle on the cartel and as a result received immunity from being fined, although the firm still had to accept responsibility for its involvement in the cartel, which dated back to 1997.
The manufacturers which cooperated with the commission received reduced fines. Scania’s decision not to co-operate means it will not benefit from any penalty reductions.
Scania has, however, issued a statement saying it has reviewed the decision and will appeal against it.
"Scania strongly contests all the findings and allegations made by the European Commission and will appeal against the decision in its entirety," says a statement from the company.
"Scania also emphasises that it has cooperated fully with the European Commission by providing it with requested information and explanations throughout the entire investigation period."
The investigation found that collusion between the six truck manufacturers lasted 14 years and began in January 1997.
The cartel centred around sales in the medium and heavy commercial vehicle markets and, according to the commission, the companies discussed the "gross list prices" of trucks.
These are the prices of trucks before any negotiations with buyers in local markets.
The investigation further revealed that the six firms also coordinated the implementation of new technologies to meet emissions standards. It is not unusual for automotive manufacturers to discuss technology, particularly when it comes to meeting the strict European emissions targets, but the commission viewed the decisions taken on when and how to implement the technology as anticompetitive behaviour.
"Over the past 10 years, the commission has remained committed to protecting competition in this crucial sector — we have uncovered nine cartels in the automotive sector and fined companies a total of more than €6bn for their illegal behaviour," the commission said in a statement.
"And we still have a number of ongoing investigations into alleged cartels in the automotive sector, which we are pursuing as a matter of priority."