Tuesday 17th Oct 2017 - Logistics Manager

Litigation funder takes on truck makers

Bentham, the litigation funding organisation, plans to fund legal action on behalf of truck purchasers who believe they are victims of the European truck cartel.

The Road Haulage Association has already said that it will bring collective proceedings to the Competition Appeal Tribunal under the Consumer Rights Act 2015.

In July, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF were fined a total of €2.9 billion after they were identified as being involved in a price fixing cartel. The largest fine, €1 billion, was imposed on Daimler, maker of Mercedes Benz trucks. Volvo/Renault was fined €670m, Iveco was fined €495m, and DAF was fined €753m.

Jeremy Marshall, chief investment officer at Bentham, said: “From 1997 to 2011 some of the largest truck manufacturers in Europe acted as a cartel to cheat customers. The volume of truck sales covered by the European Commission is staggering – we estimate that around ten million trucks were sold in the EU during the cartel period and that, within that number, and based on estimates of overcharges attributed to previous cartels, buyers of medium and heavy trucks were overcharged by an estimated €10,500 per truck.”

Bentham is encouraging potential claimants to register their details on the Bentham Europe website (www.benthameurope.com/en/trucks )

Bentham Europe, which is ultimately owed by funds managed by Elliott Management, is currently funding litigation on behalf of institutional shareholders against Tesco in the UK and Volkswagen in Germany, as well as investigating a number of further group actions.