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.