In a significant decision, the European Union’s Court of Justice has rejected an appeal by Scania, the Swedish truck manufacturer, against a substantial fine of over €880 million. The fine was imposed due to Scania’s involvement in truck cartels, where companies collude to manipulate the market. Scania had raised objections, alleging bias in the court process, challenging the interpretation of where the actions occurred, and arguing that the authority of the European Commission to impose the fine had expired.
The case began with the European Commission’s findings that entities within the Scania group violated EU antitrust laws by participating in a cartel alongside competitors from January 1997 to January 2011. This cartel aimed to restrict competition in the market for medium and heavy trucks within the European Economic Area (EEA), leading to the imposition of a massive €880.523 million fine on Scania.
Despite the General Court rejecting Scania’s attempts to overturn the Commission’s decision, Scania pursued an appeal to the Court of Justice. However, the Court of Justice upheld the General Court’s decision, affirming the substantial fine imposed on Scania.
Scania had claimed that the Commission’s team, which handled both the settlement and final decisions, was biased. However, the Court of Justice disagreed, stating that there was no evidence supporting Scania’s concerns about impartiality.
Additionally, Scania’s arguments about where the events occurred and the nature of the infringement were dismissed by the Court of Justice. The Court emphasized that Scania failed to provide objective evidence challenging the General Court’s findings on these matters.
In conclusion, the Court of Justice’s decision not only upholds the substantial fine against Scania but also extends the window for dealing with cartel cases for an additional 5 years. This underscores the EU’s commitment to combating anti-competitive practices and ensuring fair competition in the market.