On behalf of the team

On 13 April 2021, the Federal Court of Justice rendered another antitrust damages judgment, this time regarding the truck cartel.[1] Daimler initiated the appeal in cassation after it had lost before Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court in a case against an (anonymised) freight forwarder that claimed damages from the manufacturer for nine trucks it had purchased from Daimler and DAF. Daimler, along with DAF, Volvo-Renault, MAN and Iveco, was fined in 2016 for infringing agreements on prices and introduction of emission standards in the period 1997-2011. In 2017, Scania was also fined for these infringements. The lower courts had therefore ruled that the infringing acts caused damage to the anonymous claimant and had ordered Daimler to compensate it. In April 2021, the Federal Court of Justice ruled that Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court had correctly held that the cartel was likely to have caused damage due to a price increase, but the Higher Regional Court had failed to take sufficient account of the fact that the price increases could (partly) be passed on to customers of the injured party. Moreover, Daimler and DAF had submitted their own economic investigations that concluded that no price increases had been observed. According to the Federal Court of Justice, those investigations were insufficiently taken into account in the assessment. The Federal Court of Justice referred the case back to the Schleswig-Holstein Higher Regional Court for further assessment.

[1] Federal Court of Justice 13 April 2021, case KZR 19/20.