December 20, 2017 / 8:26 AM / 4 months ago

Deutsche Bahn to lead claim for damages against truck cartel

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German state railways operator Deutsche Bahn is suing truckmakers including Daimler (DAIGn.DE) and Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) subsidiary MAN, which were found to have been operating an illegal cartel by the European Union in 2011.

A sign for the 'Deutsche Bahn' building is pictured near main train station in Erfurt, Germany, April 14, 2017. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

Deutsche Bahn said in a statement on Wednesday that it had filed suit in a Munich regional court, where it will act on behalf of the German army and 40 companies.

“The illegal price collusion inflicted significant damage on us and the other claimants,” said Ulrich Weber, Deutsche Bahn board member in charge of legal affairs.

It was not immediately clear what sum Deutsche Bahn would seek. The rail company said the lawsuit covered the purchase of about 35,000 trucks for more than 2 billion euros (1.76 billion) in total, adding the amount to be claimed was being calculated by competition economists.

    The European Commission fined the manufacturers 3.8 billion euros for collusion which ran between 1997 and 2011.

    The cartel included Daimler, Iveco, DAF, Volvo/Renault (RENA.PA) and MAN. All were fined by Brussels, except for MAN, which cooperated with the EU’s cartel investigation.

    Deutsche Bahn, which owns logistics firm Schenker, wants to act before the statute of limitations renders claims invalid, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported earlier, citing people familiar with the matter.

    Reporting by Sabine Wollrab; writing by Douglas Busvine and Ludwig Burger; editing by Jason Neely

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