According to a report coming from German daily Handelsblatt, which cited undisclosed industry sources, the top European truckmakers that have allegedly breached EU cartel policy could be fined up to 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion).
Last November the European Union Commission announced it already sent formal charge sheets to several heavy truck builders that have been long suspected and investigated for price fixing allegations. Now the Handelsblatt also claims the companies might already be fined sometimes this year. According to the German daily, German truckmaker Daimler and Sweden’s Volvo Trucks might get off with a smaller penalty because they opted to cooperate with the investigators during the probe. The hardest hit with the fines will be Swedish truck maker Scania, Netherlands-based DAF and Italy’s Iveco. Additionally, the German newspaper also reported that Volkswagen-controlled MAN could even get off without any charge due to its whistleblower status.
The Handelsblatt report came from industry sources that declined to be named because of the sensitivity of the subject. The truck companies could be fined up to 10 percent of their annual income if the European Commission decides it has enough evidence to prosecute them for an infringement of EU rules – with the truck makers allegedly engaging in a cartel scheme with the intention to abuse of their combined market dominance. Several companies, such as Daimler, already made provisions on their finance sheets – which implies they might swiftly accept the penalties.