RHA applies to Competition Appeal Tribunal over price fixing

In response to European truck makers’ price fixing cartel costing its members billions of pounds, the Road Haulage Association (RHA) has filed an application to the Competition Appeal Tribunal for the price fixing that occurred between 1997 and 2011.

According to the trade body, this is the latest step in its campaign to get its members’ money back.

According to the RHA, if the claim is successful, UK transport operators “could be in for a possible windfall of over £6,000 for every 6-tonne and above vehicle they bought or leased between 1997 and 2011”.

“Broadly speaking,” explained the RHA, “operators are entitled to claim for the difference between what they paid for their trucks (new, second-hand or leased) and what they would have paid had the cartel not existed.”

To give some background to the claim: in July 2016, DAF, Daimler, Iveco, MAN and Volvo/Renault admitted to having participated in a price-fixing cartel over the 14-year period. Scania denied any wrongdoing but, following an investigation by the European Commission, was also found to have participated in the cartel. Collectively, the truck manufacturers were fined more than €3.8bn. The RHA announced its intention to bring collective proceedings in August 2016.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “We estimate that the truck cartel will have impacted upon the buyers of 600,000 trucks that were purchased in the UK between 1997 and 2011, amounting to a potential compensation claim of over £5bn. On the same basis, we estimate that operators in the rest of Europe bought 3.4 million trucks and could also be due compensation of over £25bn.”

Burnett added: “If the RHA’s competition claim is successful, there is a strong potential that the majority of the industry’s operators will benefit. This won’t happen overnight – it’s a long process. But we will continue to push for a result that will help the thousands of operators who have been dealt a poor deal.”