Royal Mail and BT awarded over £15 million in damages over truck cartels

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The UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) has ruled in favour of Royal Mail and BT in a case against DAF Trucks. The case followed on from an investigation by the European Commission in 2016, which determined that five truck manufacturers colluded to form a cartel.

In the original settlement decision in 2019, it was concluded that “the infringement consisted of collusive arrangements on pricing and gross price increases in the European Economic Area (EEA) for medium and heavy trucks”.

The trial that concluded this week came about because of follow-up claims in the wake of the European Commission’s decision on truck cartels and is “the first of many such claims arising out of the infringement to go to trial in the UK”.

Both Royal Mail and BT claimed that they had been overcharged by DAF for vehicles purchased or leased during the infringement period.

The tribunal found that the collusion resulted in both claimants being overcharged for trucks, leading to unnecessary loss of funds. The value of the overcharge that DAF was deemed to be liable for was assessed to be 5% of the money spent by each company on DAF trucks over the entirety of the period.

During this period, Royal Mail’s ‘value of commerce’ was deemed to be over £260 million while BT spent just under £45 million. This brings the total amount DAF have to pay in damages to the two firms to over £15.2 million.

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