On the 25 of April 2017 the first 51 High Court claims brought by truck owners were entered into the Competition List of the High Court. This list fast-tracks claims where there is an allegation of anti-competitive behaviour. The Irish claims brought are the first in Europe and come as there are a slew of claims brought by truck owners across the continent.
The claims arise following the conclusion of an investigation by the European Commission into a truck cartel between the manufacturers and which existed from 1997 to 2011.
Full details of the extent of the cooperation between competitors were disclosed in the Commission decision published on the 6 of April last. A level of co-operation extended down to the exchange of truck configurators and the net prices charged by manufacturers for individual elements of trucks. The existence of the cartel became known when MAN made a voluntary disclosure of their participation with other manufacturers namely, Volvo, Renault, Iveco, DAF, and Daimler (Mercedes).
The European Commission imposed record fines totalling €3.9 billion on the cartelists. An investigation into Scania’s alleged involvement continues and there has been no finding as against them as of yet. The Irish claims are the first to reach Courts in Europe and are closely being monitored by the manufacturers and lawyers representing truck owners in the European Economic area.
No decision has yet been made by the manufacturers to compensate truck owners, but the litigation currently before the Irish Courts is likely to establish a precedent that will affect all truck owners through Europe. The cases next come before the Court on the 25 of July 2017 when it is likely that further and additional claims will be admitted into the Competition List, joining those already there. All Irish claimants are being represented by O’Dwyer Solicitors, Ballyhaunis.