The Trucks cartel
On 19 July 2016, the European Commission announced a settlement decision against Daimler, Volvo, Iveco, MAN and DAF in which it found that they coordinated the pricing of trucks over a 14-year period between 1997 and 2011.
The suppliers also colluded to delay the introduction of low-emission technologies and the passing on to customers of the costs for the emissions technologies. The cartel covered the entire EEA. The Commission’s decision covers both “medium-duty” (6 – 16 tonnes) and heavy-duty (above 16 tonnes) trucks across the European Economic Area. The fines imposed in relation to the cartel are record-breaking, altogether reaching over € 3.5 billion.
The trucks industry has also been investigated in a number of different jurisdictions, namely South Korea, Spain and the UK.
The trucks cartel affected a significant percentage of the 600,000 hauliers operating in Europe, mostly small businesses, as well as companies or corporate groups with their own fleets.
Any business which purchased trucks affected by the 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 price fixing, together with interest since the date of purchase.
Hausfeld was one of the first law firm to bring the competition damages action as a result of the trucks cartel and now acts for several thousand claimants across Europe who collectively purchased approximately 450,000 trucks during the cartel period. We are involved in ongoing claims in the UK, as well as Dutch and German courts. We act for many of the industry leaders as well as small clients. To facilitate access to justice, we set up an innovative funding structure with a funder and various insurers.
In 2020, GCR awarded Hausfeld for its ground-breaking pan-European work on the Trucks cartel litigation in the “Litigation of the Year, Cartel Prosecution” category. In 2018, we won the ‘Innovation in Legal Expertise - Dispute Resolution’ award by the FT Innovative Lawyer Awards for our work with Dutch transportation insurer Transport Verzekerings Maatschappij (TVM).The 2020 Global Competition Review Awards FT Innovative Lawyer Award 2018
In the UK, we represent seven of the Claimant Groups whose trucks claims are amongst the most advanced in the English Courts. We have been successful in several interlocutory hearings and lost none.