Tesco Sues Truckmaker Over Emissions Price Fixing Cartel

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Tesco Sues Truckmaker Over Emissions Price Fixing Cartel

Supermarket behemoth Tesco has launched a legal battle against truck manufacturer Scania, following the latter’s significant fine by the European Commission for its involvement in a price-fixing cartel. This action was initiated in the U.K.’s antitrust court on Tuesday, signaling a major corporate confrontation.

Tesco Leverages European Commission’s Findings

Tesco, along with its distributor, is basing its case on a pivotal 2017 decision by the European Commission, which slapped a hefty €880 million fine on Volkswagen AG’s subsidiary, Scania. The fine was imposed for Scania’s role in colluding to fix prices and impose the costs of emissions compliance onto consumers, a strategy found to be in violation of competitive practices.

The retailer alleges that Scania, over a span of 14 years, unfairly passed on the costs of environmental compliance to its customers, leading Tesco to incur losses in the U.K. due to these infringements of competition law. Tesco’s legal claim highlights the broader ramifications of such anticompetitive behaviors in the trucking industry, particularly concerning the acquisition and leasing of trucks.

Tesco Sues Truckmaker Over Emissions Price Fixing Cartel : Details of the Collusion and Legal Implications

Investigations by the commission revealed that from 1997 to 2004, top executives from the involved truck manufacturers covertly met at trade shows and other venues to coordinate price increases and the rollout of new emissions standards from Euro III to Euro VI. This collusion continued electronically through the companies’ German subsidiaries until 2011.