Swedish truckmaker Scania has been slapped with a €880m (£771m) fine by European Union antitrust regulators for colluding with five other firms over prices and emissions costs.
EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who polices competition, said that Scania had colluded with five other heavy vehicle makers for 14 years to fix truck prices.
All of the companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case, but MAN received full immunity from the Commission for revealing the existence of the cartel, and so avoided a fine of around €1.2 billion.
'These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy, ' she said.
She added that instead of colluding on pricing and environmental improvements, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other.
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"Scania also emphasises that it has co-operated fully with the European Commission by providing it with requested information and explanations throughout the entire investigation period", Scania says in a statement released this morning. The decision relates specifically to the market for the manufacturing of medium (weighing between 6 to 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons). The final price paid by buyers is then based on further adjustments, done at national and local level, to these gross list prices. Their anticompetitive behaviour covered the whole of the European Economic Area (EEA) and ran between 1997 and 2011, when the Commission carried out unannounced inspections of the companies involved, it said.
Senior managers initially met at the margins of trade fairs or other events and sometimes held calls to coordinate behavior, starting with a Brussels meet-up in January 1997. It has been the most harshly punished after the German company Daimler.
Having had the second-highest fine imposed after Daimler's US$1.17 billion on it over its part in the scandal, Scania has announced it will be contesting the matter.
Scania chose not to cooperate with the Commission during the investigation. All but Scania settled with the commission in 2016.