LONDON Feb 21 Daimler's
Mercedes-Benz and three of its British commercial vehicle
dealers have been fined 2.6 million pounds ($4 million) 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 percent
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
1.49 million pounds, it added.