The UK’s Road Haulage Association (RHA) has invited haulage and logistics firms to sign up, free of charge, to its legal case brought before the Competition Tribunal in London, seeking compensation from a group of truck manufacturers found guilty of price fixing by the European Commission last year.
In July last year MAN, Volvo Group (which includes Volvo Trucks and Renault Truck) Mercedes-Benz parent company Daimler, Iveco and DAF were fined close to €3 billion ($3.35 billion) for price fixing and other cartel activities between 1997 and 2011.
Daimler received the biggest fine of €1 billion; DAF a fine of €753m; Volvo €670m; and Iveco €500m. MAN, meanwhile, avoided a fine of around €1.2 billion as the whistleblower.
The European Commission is continuing its investigation against Scania but the RHA currently plans to include Scania trucks in the case from the outset.
RHA believes that during the 14-year period in question, around 650,000 new trucks were sold and that compensation could be in the region of £6,000 ($7,650) per truck on average.
RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “UK truck owners affected by the truck cartel have potentially paid too much for their lorries over a 14-year period and we’re determined to get a fair deal for them. This is a chance to get their compensation with no risk to their business or finances.”
Litigation funder Therium Capital Management, will cover the costs of the claim, including significant insurance cover, according to the RHA.
The legal team consists of the solicitors Backhouse Jones, barristers chambers Exchange Chambers and Brick Court.
David Went of Exchange Chambers said: “We are taking this case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal as it is the specialist court in the UK that deals with these types of claims and is an effective way to see redress for operators.”
The initial stage involves asking the tribunal to authorise the RHA to act as industry representative and to set out the basis on which operators can opt into the claim. The first hearing is expected to be later this year.