Truck giant Scania hit with £770m fine for price-fixing

Posted September 29, 2017

VW-owned truck company Scania has been fined €880m (£771m) by Brussels for allegedly taking part in a price-fixing cartel with other manufacturers.

The European Competition Commission says Scania, which is based in Sweden, colluded with five other truck makers to agree the pricing of new vehicles.

A year ago it hit five manufacturers with a €2.9bn fine comprising Volvo Group, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler, Iveco and DAF.

At a press conference, the European Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, explained that these vehicles represent almost three quarters of inland freight transport in Europe and play a key role in the bloc's economy.

'Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other - also on environmental improvements'.

Despite the settlement, penalties were high because the cartel covered a large market and lasted a long time, the European Union said.

The companies that were involved in the cartel all manufacture medium trucks, weighing between six and 16 tonnes, and heavy trucks, which weigh over 16 tonnes, according to the Commission.

The cartel initially stemmed from meetings between unnamed "senior managers" of the companies, who then met frequently, "sometimes at the margins of trade fairs or other events", according to the Commission.

Discussions between the firms covered the same topics: coordinating prices at "gross list" level, the timing for the introduction of emission technologies, and the passing onto customers of the costs for those technologies. From 2004 onwards, the cartel was organised via the truck producers' German subsidiaries, with participants generally exchanging information electronically.

Scania's fine is the second highest after Daimler's 1 billion euro penalty.

An investigation found that the companies had conspired to fix the price of trucks and also charged customers for implementing technology aimed at reducing emissions.

EC Competition Commissioner MargretheVestager, said: "Today's decision marks the end of our investigation into a very long-lasting cartel - 14 years".

Scania chose not to cooperate with the Commission during the investigation.