Daimler’s Spanish unit could be responsible for cartel damages, EU courtroom adviser says By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Daimler AG signal is pictured on the IAA truck present in Hanover

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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Daimler’s Spanish unit could be responsible for damages sought by corporations affected by the German carmaker’s function in a truck cartel fined by EU antitrust regulators 5 years in the past, an adviser to Europe’s prime courtroom stated on Thursday.

Ought to the courtroom observe the non-binding opinion within the coming months, it might pave the way in which for corporations to sue subsidiaries of different cartel members and different unlawful price-fixing teams.

The European Fee in 2016 handed out a then report 2.9 billion euro superb to the cartel which included Daimler (OTC:), Swedish firm Volvo, Iveco, which is a part of Italian truck and tractor maker CNH Industrial (NYSE:), and DAF Vehicles, owned by U.S. firm Paccar (NASDAQ:).

Daimler’s superb was the largest at 1.01 billion euros ($1.2 billion) whereas Volkswagen-owned MAN averted a penalty for alerting the EU competitors watchdog to the cartel.

Spanish firm Sumal SL subsequently requested for 22,000 euros in damages from Mercedes Benz Vehicles España SL, a Daimler subsidiary, saying the sum was the premium paid to the corporate for getting Daimler vans. It stated costs would have been decrease with out the cartel.

A Spanish courtroom then requested the Luxembourg-based Courtroom of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), Europe’s highest, for steering.

“A nationwide courtroom can order a subsidiary firm to pay compensation for the hurt brought on by the anti-competitive conduct of its mum or dad firm in a case the place the Fee has imposed a superb solely on that mum or dad firm,” Giovanni Pitruzzella, advocate basic on the Luxembourg-based Courtroom of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) stated in a non-binding opinion.

“For that to be the case, the 2 corporations will need to have operated in the marketplace as a single enterprise and the subsidiary will need to have contributed to the achievement of the target and the materialisation of the results of that conduct,” he stated.

The courtroom follows its advisers’ suggestions in round 4 out of 5 instances. The Fee stated the cartel, which ran for 14 years, mounted costs and coordinated the timing of introducing new emission applied sciences in 1997 and passing on the prices of these new applied sciences.

The case is C-882/19 Sumal.

($1 = 0.8351 euros)

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