The European Commission has informed a number of heavy and medium duty truck producers that it suspects them of having participated in a cartel in breach of EU antitrust rules. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the outcome of the investigation.
The Commission has concerns that certain heavy and medium duty truck producers may have agreed or coordinated their pricing behaviour in the European Economic Area (EEA). Such behaviour, if established, would breach Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) and Article 53 of the Agreement on the EEA, which prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices.
In January 2011, the Commission confirmed unannounced inspections in the trucks sector (see MEMO/11/29).
A Statement of Objections is a formal step in Commission investigations into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The Commission informs the parties concerned in writing of the objections raised against them. The addressees can examine the documents in the Commission's investigation file, reply in writing and request an oral hearing to present their comments on the case before representatives of the Commission and national competition authorities.
If, after the parties have exercised their rights of defence, the Commission concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement, it can issue a decision prohibiting the conduct and impose a fine of up to 10% of a company's annual worldwide turnover.
More information is available on the Commission's competition website, in the public case register under the case number 39824. New decisions on competition policy are listed in the electronic newsletter Competition weekly e-News.