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EU hits truck maker Scania with hefty cartel fine

The penalty comes as the Scandinavian truck maker is being accused of colluding to fix prices and dodge the costs of stricter pollution rules in a long-lasting cartel involving also five other European companies.

Scania Gewinnrückgang Gewinneinbruch VW Tochter (picture-alliance/dpa)

The fine against Scania, amounting to €880 million ($1.0 billion), marked the end of a 14-year investigation into a European truck making cartel, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement on Wednesday.

Daimler, DAF, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault were hit with the fines in July 2016. Along with Scania, they account for nine out of every 10 trucks sold in Europe.

"Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other - also on environmental improvements," said Vestager and added that the total penalty inflicted by Brussels on the cartel participants had reached €3.8 billion.

The charges included mainly price-fixing, but also alleged the existence of a secret agreement by the companies to delay and then pass on the costs of anti-pollution technology to consumers.

Read more: German carmakers play down collusion claims

Scania, owned by German auto giant Volkswagen, was the only holdout in the European Union's massive cartel case in which the five other truck builders admitted to their wrongdoings. According to EU anti-trust regulators, senior managers from the truck makers had hatched the plan at a secret meeting in a "cozy" Brussels hotel.

Germany company MAN tipped off the European Commission about the collusion at the highest level, triggering an investigation that began with raids on truck manufacturers in 2011.

Watch video 01:22

A brief history of cartels in Germany

uhe/aos (Reuters, AFP)

 

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