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EU truck makers face EUR 4 bn fine for price-fixing

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(FRANKFURT) - European truck makers could be fined more than 4.0 billion euros ($4.5 billion) by the EU in one of Europe's biggest-ever price-fixing scandals, the business daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

MAN and Scania, both owned by German auto giant Volkswagen as well as Daimler, DAF of the Netherlands, Iveco of Italy and Sweden's Volvo are accused of forming an illegal cartel between 1999 and 2011.

According to Handelsblatt, which quoted industry sources, MAN will escape prosecution because it reported the price-fixing cartel to Brussels four years ago.

In January 2011, the European Commission said it had "reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices and/or the abuse of a dominant market position".

The truck makers can be fined up to 10 percent of their annual turnover.

Contacted by AFP in Brussels, EU Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso declined to comment on the information, saying the "investigation is ongoing. We cannot prejudge the outcome nor the timing of a decision."

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