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UPDATE 1-Scania loses challenge to 880 mln euro EU cartel fine

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BRUSSELS, Feb 2 (Reuters) - Truckmaker Scania has lost its legal battle to overturn an 880.5 million euro ($992.5 million) fine imposed by European Union antitrust regulators for participation in a cartel.

The European Commission, which oversees competition policy in the 27-nation EU, set the fine in 2017 here after it found that Scania colluded with other manufacturers for 14 years on prices and on passing on to consumers costs related to stricter emissions rules.

The General Court of the European Union on Wednesday dismissed all of Scania’s arguments against the fine, but it could still appeal on points of law to the Court of Justice, the EU’s top court.

The European Commission had fined MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF a combined 2.93 billion euros in 2016 after they admitted participating in the cartel and agreed a settlement.

Scania, part of the Volkswagen Group, was initially willing to participate in settlement discussions, but then withdrew from the process. It subsequently took its case to the EU court.

The truckmaker argued that the Commission had infringed the principle of presumption of innocence, violated its right of defence, not established that communications with rivals breached EU law and set a fine that was excessive. ($1 = 0.8872 euros) (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop Editing by David Goodman)

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