BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Daimler (OTC:)’s Spanish unit can be liable for damages sought by companies affected by the German carmaker’s role in a truck cartel sanctioned by EU antitrust regulators five years ago, an adviser to Europe’s top court said on Thursday.
The European Commission in 2016 handed out a then record 2.9 billion euros to the cartel which included Daimler, Swedish company Volvo, Iveco, which is part of Italian truck and tractor maker CNH Industrial (NYSE:), and DAF Trucks, owned by U.S. company Paccar (NASDAQ:).
“A national court can order a subsidiary company to pay compensation for the harm caused by the anti-competitive conduct of its parent company in a case where the Commission has imposed a fine solely on that parent company,” Giovanni Pitruzzella, advocate general at the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) said in a non-binding opinion.
“For that to be the case, the two companies must have operated on the market as a single undertaking and the subsidiary must have contributed to the achievement of the objective and the materialisation of the effects of that conduct,” he said.
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