Edwin Coe, London’s leading class action firm, takes on truck manufacturers for claimants seeking damages from truck manufacturers who entered into a fraudulent price fixing cartel. If you bought, leased or outsourced trucks over 6 tonnes between 1997 and 2011 you will have a claim.
The RHA (Road Haulage Association) is representing the interests of companies which purchased trucks direct from the manufacturers. The RHA suggest that only the direct purchasers of trucks suffered loss and that the road hauliers were unable to pass on the additional cost arising from the cartel to their clients in the high street, for instance. The RHA suggest that this inability to pass on the additional costs arose because the road haulage business is very competitive. In fact the application of econometrics to a market would suggest to the contrary. Put simply, when a market is competitive with different suppliers competing for business, margins are cut to maintain competition. This means that a competitive market is unable to meet additional costs and those costs are passed on down the chain. Thus indirect purchasers are more likely to suffer the additional cost in hauliers’ pricing.
The trucks cartel claims will all be about pass on, namely what proportion of the additional costs associated with the price-fixing were passed on by direct purchasers to their customers (the indirect purchasers) down the vertical market line. Different levels of the market will be in conflict with one another. The indirect purchasers’ gain is the direct purchasers’ loss, and vice versa.
If direct purchasers seek to argue that they suffered loss, due to the price fixing by the truck manufacturers, they will face the argument from the manufacturers that the loss has been passed on to hauliers’ customers. Indirect purchasers of the hauliers’ services will be said to have suffered the loss. If that is right, as suggested above, it will be indirect purchasers who will have the main claim against the manufacturers.
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