Anti Monopoly registers BMW offices without warning while Daimler claims immunity
By: Fedora Atjeh | 10/23/2017 11:43:00 PM
In July, Germany revived an obscure episode that would go down in the history of the automobile with a possible cartel orchestrated by the major German car manufacturers. Another scandal shook the sphere of trucks much earlier with another cartel, this time tested, between MAN, Daimler, Iveco, DAF and Volvo. While a ticket to Scania gave shelter to the matter, the other cartel has continued investigating.
As reported by Automotive News, the BMW headquarters in Munich have been 'assaulted' by antitrust officials from the European Union. In the meantime, Daimler has filed a request for immunity from fines before the European Commission: he claims to have tipped off the conspiracy.
The first record of the investigation
The staff of the European Union carried out an inspection last October 16 at the BMW headquarters in Munich, for the first time since unveiling the scandal.
The Bavarian firm claims to be collaborating in the investigation, let us recall that it focuses on whether possible secret meetings were held for decades to circumvent the competition laws.
At these meetings, these giants could have worked together for decades (since the 1990s to be more accurate) to set prices for carbon dioxide emissions treatment systems using industry committees (which BMW has denied) to discuss their choice of suppliers and the price of the components, and since 2006 have negotiated the cost of AdBlue.
Daimler claims to have hit the mark
The German consortium Daimler is asking for immunity, but let us remember that for this to happen, it must be this company and not another that first hinted at the monopoly situation, providing sufficient information to the Commission to justify inspections.
At the moment, this situation has not been confirmed: the Commission has refused to identify the original source of the notice to avoid jeopardizing its investigation. In the cartel of trucks, investigated by the European Commission since 2011, it was MAN who gave the hivatazo about the bad practices, being exempt of the fine of 1.2 billion. They all acknowledged fraud, which helped them reduce sanctions by 10%. All but Scania, who did not cooperate with the investigation and consequently will have to assume a fine of 880 million euros.
In the case of the possible cartel (involving Volkswagen, BMW, Audi, Daimler and Porsche), Daimler has positioned itself: the consortium claims to have been the complainant of the situation and does not see the need to reserve funds for possible fines antitrust.
Volkswagen could also benefit from sharing information. In fact it is a race: the one who provides evidence first, you can see the fines reduced by up to 50%.