A third group action has been registered with the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) seeking redress for those affected by the €3bn truck price-fixing cartel.

Law firm Edwin Coe is seeking damages for businesses that were both direct and indirect purchasers of trucks (companies that used transport services provided by hauliers). It has signed up 27 businesses so far, including Co-op, Poundland and brewers Adnams and Fuller’s, to its class action.

It is estimated that approximately 10 million trucks sold across Europe may have been overpriced by as much as £10,000 each, the firm said.

Zahira Hussain of 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. There is still a window to join our claim process on a cost- and risk-free basis.”

Read more

It joins competing actions from the RHA and UK Trucks Claim already registered with the CAT, as well as individual actions being pursued by Veolia and Royal Mail in the High Court.

However, a spokeswoman for Edwin Coe told MT that its action wasn’t seeking a large volume of claimants and so could bring more individual attention to bear than others; Edwin Coe has a specialism in competition law; and its damages cap at 25% was lower than rivals.

Regardless, the CAT is expected to provide further guidance on 12 December regarding the scope of the various interests with a decision on the next stage of proceedings due early next year.

In 2016, the European Commission issued a record €2.9bn fine to Daimler, DAF, Volvo Group and IVECO after concluding the OEMs had operated a cartel between 1997 and 2011. MAN was found guilty but as the whistleblower the manufacturer avoided a monetary punishment. Scania was later fined €881m for its involvement in the cartel.

Edwin Coe’s litigation is backed by Affiniti Finance under a no-win, no-fee arrangement.

Image: PA Images