Recycling of scrapped vehicles, investigation by the European Antitrust on various car manufacturers

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Pandemic, shortage of semiconductors, war in Ukraine and now also a new investigation, however at a preliminary stage, by the European Commission and the UK Competition Authority: these are difficult years for the auto industry.

The Community Antitrust has targeted “possible collusion in relation to the collection, treatment and recovery of scrapped cars and vans” which are “considered waste”. On Tuesday, surprise inspections were arranged at the offices of various manufacturers and organizations operating in the car sector in various states of the Old Continent. In a note, the Antitrust, whose staff had been accompanied by that of the national offices with the same skills, informed that they had also solicited formal requests for information.

Disposal regulations require vehicles to be largely recycled or reused (at least 85% of their weight) and the Automotive News newspaper speaks of a “big gray market” in which only two out of three cars are scrapped they end up in an authorized center. According to the German foundation that refers to the Green Party and named after Heinrich Böll, around 12 million vehicles are taken off the road every year in Europe. Renault and Opel, the German brand controlled by Stellantis, confirmed the inspections, while Volkswagen, BMW and Ford said they had received the requests for information. All declared that they cooperated fully with the authorities.

The alleged violations concern Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, i.e. the possible infringement of the rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive commercial practices. In its note, the Community Antitrust reaffirmed the principle of innocence: “The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections and sends formal requests for information does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behavior”. The survey has no time limitations.

German car cartel, European Antitrust: “BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen colluded”

Apparently the “tip” on potential violations came from Mercedes, which has formalized its involvement in this preliminary phase of the investigation. The house with the star also added that it plans to avoid any future sanctions having in fact provided the information that started the Antitrust investigation. Mercedes had already denounced itself to the authorities a few years ago bringing to light the activities of the so-called “Club dei 5″, the circle of German brands which also included BMW, Volkswagen, Porsche and Audi which according to the European Commission had agreed to slow down the ” adoption of technologies to reduce emissions. BMW and the Volkswagen group had agreed to pay a fine of 875 million euros each.

EU, record fine of almost 3 billion for the truck cartel

Previously Daimler, the company that controlled Mercedes, had been called upon to pay over one billion euros (the highest penalty) for the so-called “Cartel of Trucks” which also ended up with Scania (which had uselessly resorted to), Iveco, DAF and Volvo / Renault. The case had been opened by the “tip” of MAN.

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