February 23, 2015 / 6:56 PM / 5 years ago

Truckmakers face 4 bln euro E.U. antitrust fine -Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT, Feb 23 (Reuters) - Top European truckmakers face a fine of up to 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) for operating a cartel, German daily Handelsblatt reported, citing industry sources.

In November, the European Union Commission said it had sent formal charge sheets to several truck manufacturers it suspected of price fixing.

Handelsblatt said the companies could be fined this year.

Swedish truck maker Scania, Netherlands-based DAF and Italy’s Iveco face steep fines while German truckmakers Daimler and Sweden’s Volvo Trucks can hope for more lenient treatment because they cooperated with investigators, Handelsblatt said.

Volkswagen-controlled MAN may even escape prosecution because it had whistleblower status in the cartel investigation, the German newspaper said.

European Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso, MAN and Daimler declined to comment. The other companies were not immediately available to comment on the Handelsblatt report.

Companies can be fined up to 10 percent of their annual revenue if the Commission concludes there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of EU rules barring cartels and the abuse of market dominance.

$1 = 0.8821 euros Reporting by Edward Taylor in Frankfurt and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; editing by David Clarke

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