London - Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz and three of its British
commercial vehicle dealers have been fined £2.6m by Britain's competition
watchdog for price-fixing.
The Office of Fair Trading said on Thursday that there had
been three admitted competition law infringements involving market sharing,
price coordination and the exchange of commercially sensitive information over
the sale and distribution of the German automaker's vans and trucks between
2008 and 2010.
The fines have been levied against the Ciceley, Road Range
and Enza dealerships, which are active in northern England and parts of Wales
and Scotland, the OFT said.
"These cases send a clear signal that the OFT will take
firm action against companies that collude to deny customers the benefit of fair
competition regardless of the size of the firms involved or geographic scope of
the investigation," said Ali Nikpay, the OFT's senior director of cartels.
The OFT said it had agreed to reduce the fines by 15% to
reflect the companies' cooperation.
Mercedes-Benz UK said it "regrets the incident"
and has since strengthened its internal controls.
"The company and its staff have fully co-operated with
the investigators over the past three years," the firm said in a
Based on its turnover, Mercedez-Benz' settlement figure was
£1.49m, it added.
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