Daimler garbage trucks were part of a cartel, EU court rules in damages case

The Daimler AG sign is pictured at the IAA truck show in Hanover, Germany September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

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BRUSSELS, Aug 1 (Reuters) – Refuse collection trucks were included in a European truck cartel fined by the European Commission in 2016, the EU’s top court said on Monday, opening the door complaints from buyers of these vehicles.

The case was referred to the EU court in connection with a 2016 claim for damages by the German district of Northeim against Daimler (DTGGe.DE) for two garbage trucks it bought in 2006 and 2007.

The complaint follows a 2.93 billion euro ($3.00 billion) fine imposed by the European Commission on truck manufacturers, including Daimler, for participating in a cartel.

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Daimler argued that the dumpsters were not covered by the Commission’s conclusion on the cartel because they were specialist vehicles, something ruled out by an EU request for information.

The Court of Justice of the European Union said the request for information does not define the products subject to anti-competitive behavior.

“The decision of the European Commission (…) must be interpreted as meaning that specialized trucks, including trucks for the collection of household waste, fall within the scope of the products covered by the cartel found in this decision”, the court said at the end of its decision. .

Daimler said that while he accepted the court’s decision, it only answers one of many questions that German state courts ask about claims for damages.

He said the court made no specific comment on the damages and the company remained satisfied that its customers suffered none.

($1 = 0.9764 euros)

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Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt, editing by Louise Heavens and Bernadette Baum

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