Firms including Poundland and Fullers Brewery have joined a legal group action seeking damages over a truck price-fixing scandal.
More than two dozen firms are seeking damages after six truck manufacturers were found to have operated a price-fixing cartel between 1997 and 2011.
It is estimated some 10m trucks were sold across the EU during this time and each one may have been overpriced by up to £10,000 as a result of the cartel, according to law firm Edwin Coe.
Zahira Hussain, solicitor to the claimants at Edwin Coe, said: “This cartel was an EU-wide scandal for many years and affected thousands of UK businesses from PLCs to smaller enterprises. Companies that believe they were a victim and want to claim their rightful compensation need to act fast.”
The claim follows a European Commission ruling in 2016 that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler/Mercedes, Iveco and DAF operated a cartel from 1997. There was a similar finding against Scania in 2017, when competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, said: “This cartel affected very substantial numbers of road hauliers in Europe, since Scania and the other truck manufacturers in the cartel produce more than nine out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks sold in Europe.
“These trucks account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role in the European economy. Instead of colluding on pricing, the truck manufacturers should have been competing against each other – also on environmental improvements.”
The brewer Timothy Taylor, food firms and transport companies are also among the claimants.
“Claims may also be brought by those who purchased trucks from other manufacturers because their prices are also likely to have been affected by the cartel pricing,” said the law firm.
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