Britain’s competition watchdog has fined Mercedes-Benz and three of its dealerships in the UK for price fixing.
The Office of Fair Trading fined the company 2.6 million pounds ($4 million) for three admitted competition law infringements regarding price coordination, market sharing and the exchange of commercially sensitive information for the distribution and sale of the automaker’s trucks and vans between 2008 and 2010.
“These cases send a clear signal that the OFT will take firm action against companies that collude to deny customers the benefit of fair competition regardless of the size of the firms involved or geographic scope of the investigation,” said Ali Nikpay, the OFT’s senior director of cartels.
The dealerships which were fined are Ciceley, Road Range and Enza located in parts of Wales and northern England. The OFT said it is willing to reduce the fines by 15% as the companies agreed to cooperate and Mercedes has already strengthened its internal controls.
“The company and its staff have fully co-operated with the investigators over the past three years,” the firm said in a statement.