#AceNewsReport – July.12: Daimler, BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche avoided competing on technology to restrict pollution from gasoline and diesel passenger cars, the European Commission said.
#AceDailyNews says EU fines German car makers BMW, VW, Audi and Porsche $1.3 billion over emission collusion: EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said even though the companies had the technology to cut harmful emissions beyond legal limits, they avoided competing and denied consumers the chance to buy less polluting cars.
Daimler was not fined after it revealed the cartel to the European Commission.
“Factories compete with one another also when it comes to reducing carbon emissions from the cars,” Ms Vestager said.
“Manufacturers deliberately avoided to compete on cleaning better than what was required by EU emission standards. And they did so despite the relevant technology being available.”
It made their practice illegal, Ms Vestager said.
“So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical cooperation went wrong. And we do not tolerate it when companies collude.”
Volkswagen considering legal action
Volkswagen said it was considering whether to take legal action against the fine, saying the penalty over technical talks about emissions technology with other carmakers set a questionable precedent.
“The commission is entering new judicial territory, because it is treating technical cooperation for the first time as an antitrust violation,” the German carmaker said after being fined 502 million euros ($799 million).
“Furthermore, it is imposing fines, although the content of the talks was never implemented and no customers suffered any harm as a result,” Volkswagen added in a statement.
BMW agreed to the settlement proposed by the European Commission, paying a 373 million euro fine, saying it had been cleared of suspicion of using illegal “defeat devices” to cheat emissions tests.
“This underlines that there has never been any allegation of unlawful manipulation of emission control systems by the BMW Group,” the company said in a statement.
The case was not directly linked to the “dieselgate” scandal of the past decade, when Volkswagen admitted about 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide were fitted with deceptive software.
The software reduced nitrogen oxide emissions when the cars were placed on a test machine but allowed higher emissions and improved engine performance during normal driving.
The scandal cost Wolfsburg, Germany-based Volkswagen 30 billion euros ($47 billion) in fines and civil settlements and led to the recall of millions of vehicles.
It was the first time the European Commission imposed collusion fines on holding back the use of technical developments, not a more traditional practice like price fixing.
#AceNewsDesk report ………..Published: July.12: 2021:
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