European Commission fines Scania €881m over cartel

truck line up

 

The European Commission (EC) has hit Scania with a €881m (£771m) fine after deciding that it did break EU antitrust rules.

Last year the EC hit five manufacturers with a €2.9bn fine comprising Volvo Group, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, Iveco and DAF. MAN was found guilty of breaking EU antitrust rules also but was spared a fine due to its status as whistle-blower.

Investigations had continued over Scania’s involvement after the manufacturer decided not to settle with the EC last year. The fine levied against the manufacturer is the second largest after Damiler’s €1bn.

It means the commission has now levied fines approaching €3.8bn collectively against Europe’s major truck manufacturers.

The EC said that Scania had broken EU antitrust rules and colluded for 14 years with five other truck manufacturers on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of new technologies to meet stricter emission rules.

Commissioner for competition at the EC, Margrethe Vestager, said: “Today's decision marks the end of our investigation into a very long lasting cartel - 14 years. This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe.

“These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other - also on environmental improvements.

"Road haulage is an essential part of the European transport sector and its competitiveness depends on truck prices. Today's decision relates specifically to the market for the manufacturing of medium (weighing between 6 to 16 tonnes) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tonnes)."

The EC said it had set the level of fine based on Scania's sales of heavy trucks in the EEA, as well as the serious nature of the infringement, the high combined market share of all participating companies, the geographic scope and the duration of the cartel.

It added: “Scania chose not to cooperate with the commission during the investigation. Consequently Scania does not benefit from a fine reduction according to the commission's 2006 Leniency Notice or according to the 2008 Settlement Notice.

CM has approached Scania for comment.