Category Archives: Lawsuit

EU Imposes $3.2 Billion Fine on Truck Makers

As reported by The Huffington Post, the EU has imposed major fines of a record $3.2 billion on four truck makers for their illegal participation in a cartel. The truck makers were found guilty of conspiring to fix prices and working together to delay the introduction of new emissions technologies for vehicles in 1997. The EU antitrust regulators also found that the truck makers inappropriately passed on the cost of the new emission technologies to consumers. Before this most recent fine, the largest prior fine ordered by the European Competition Commissioner was for 1.4 billion euros against a TV and computer monitor tubes price-fixing cartel.

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager spoke to the press about the imposition of the fine and the commission’s finding on the lack of competition between the largest truck makers in the industry. She said that MAN, Volvo, Daimler and Paccar should all be competing against each other to enhance environmental performance. The companies agreed to a settlement in which they admitted their wrongdoing in exchange for a 10 percent reduction in the total penalties. The largest fine was levied on Daimlier at 1.01 billion euros. MAN, which is owned by Volkswagen, avoided a fine because it reported the cartel to the commission.

The Euro VI standards aim to reduce the emission of nitrogen oxides and require substantial investment by truck makers in eco-friendly technologies, including exhaust treatment filters. The first iteration of the European pollution standards were released in 1993 and require all vehicles to comply.

Lawyer’s Assemble! Horizon Takes Iron Man, Disney, and Marvel to Court

Iron Man may have defeated a cadre of super-villains during his cinematic career, but “shell-head’s” biggest challenge may be in a court of law. Actually, both Disney and Marvel are the ones facing a copyright infringement lawsuit. Whether or not the entertainment giants can win out remains to be seen.

At the core of the lawsuit is a contention over the originality of a modified version of Iron Man’s suit. Horizon Comics Productions owns the rights to a comic book called Radix and the title hero’s suit and the one worn by characters in the small publishing house’s line of books. Per the people at Horizon states Ray Lane, Iron Man had a relatively simple costume design for decades in the books. The advanced and complex look of Iron Man debuted in the movies and it is very close to what appeared in the indie publisher’s books.

Does Horizon have a strong case? Honestly, all does not look well for Horizon. Iron Man went through a number of upgrades in the 1990’s. The expansion of the “Iron Man team” with characters such as War Machine also debuted different spins on the old armor. And how distinct is the look of the Horizon Comics’ costumes?

This and other questions are going to be raised in court. Likely, Disney and Marvel are going to seek a dismissal. Whether or not they get one also remains to be seen. It is not too much of a jump to say Horizon has a huge mountain to climb to win this case. Stranger things have happened in the world of comics so you never know.