European Commission targets truck industry

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EU investigators have raided the offices of a number of major truck manufacturers looking for evidence of anti-competitive activity

The European Commission said it had reason to believe that the companies concerned might have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and/or the abuse of a dominant market position (Articles 101 and 102 respectively of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU).

A number of commercial vehicle manufacturers have revealed that they are part of the investigation, including: Volvo, Scania, MAN, Daimler, and Iveco.

In September, the UK Office of Fair Trading revealed that it had started an inquiry into alleged price fixing by commercial vehicle manufacturers. It appears that the two investigations are separate although the authorities are cooperating.

Several manufacturers have issued statements regarding the EU investigation:

MAN: “MAN has pledged its full cooperation to the European Union’s antitrust authorities in the antitrust proceedings against several European truck manufacturers. By cooperating fully, the Company will help to completely clarify the matter. MAN does not tolerate any breaches of compliance. Neither corruption nor violations of competition are tolerated, encouraged or accepted. MAN does not currently expect customers to have suffered prejudice.”

SCANIA: “Scania has today, 18 January, become subject of an investigation initiated by the European Commission regarding inappropriate exchange of information. Scania will cooperate fully with the Commission during the investigation work.”

VOLVO: “Volvo Group has become part of an investigation by the European Commission regarding exchange of information. Volvo Group will cooperate fully with the Commission during the course of the forthcoming investigative work.

IVECO: “The European Commission has announced an investigation on the leading manufacturers of commercial vehicles within the European Union. The investigation, which covers several Member States of the European Union, involves Iveco and its controlled companies. Iveco has taken note of this investigation and will cooperate fully with the representatives of the European Commission.”

The commission said unannounced inspections are a preliminary step into suspected anticompetitive practices.

“The fact that the commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.”

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