Lawyers acting on behalf of Royal Mail and BT have hailed their victory over DAF Trucks after the competition appeal tribunal (CAT) found the manufacturer had overcharged the two companies.
The judgment means the truck maker must pay millions of pounds in damages for price-fixing between 1997 and 2011.
The tribunal held that the claimants had been overcharged for purchasing HGVs and that the overcharge for which DAF was liable was 5% for both companies on their value of commerce, which was calculated as £260,597,683 for Royal Mail and £44,961,617 for BT.
The CAT instructed the parties to come to an agreement on a compensation deal and if they could not, the case would return to the courts.
The landmark ruling is the first judgment by a UK court concerning a European truck builder accused of price-fixing.
It followed a finding by the European Commission in 2016 that DAF, MAN, Daimler, Iveco and Volvo/Renault had colluded on pricing and gross price increases for medium and heavy trucks in the European Economic Area.
Edward Coulson, lead partner at law firm Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, which represented Royal Mail and BT at the CAT, said the result was a significant victory for the claimants: “DAF has denied wrongdoing throughout six years of litigation,” he said.
“But now there is clarity from the UK’s specialist tribunal that DAF’s involvement in the truck cartel caused loss to its customers through unlawfully high prices.”