On 23 July 2015, the Spanish Competition Authority, the ‘Comisión Nacional de Mercados y Competencia’ (‘CNMC’) fined 21 car manufacturers and two consulting agencies operating in Spain EUR 171 million for breaches of competition law between February 2006 and August 2013, the highest fine in CNMC´s history (Exp. S/0482/13 Fabricantes de Automóviles).

Background – The Spanish Car Cartel

The fined companies, covering more than 90% of the Spanish market, exchanged commercially sensitive information on car sales. By doing so, they were able to control the vast majority of the distribution and after-sales market in Spain allowing them to establish commercial conditions detrimental to their customers. Among other things, this resulted in both consumers and companies paying higher prices for cars due to the illegal conduct of the car manufacturers. Preliminary price overcharge estimations are in the range of 10-15%. The fined entities are: AUTOMÓVILES CITROËN ESPAÑA, B&M AUTOMÓVILES ESPAÑA, BMW IBÉRICA, S.A.U., CHEVROLET ESPAÑA, S.A.U., CHRYSLER ESPAÑA, S.L., FIAT GROUP AUTOMOBILES SPAIN, S.A., FORD ESPAÑA, S.L., GENERAL MOTORS ESPAÑA, S.L.U., HONDA MOTOR EUROPE LIMITED, BRANCH IN SPAIN, S.L., HYUNDAI MOTOR ESPAÑA, S.L.U., KIA MOTORS IBERIA, S.L., MAZDA AUTOMÓVILES ESPAÑA, S.A., MERCEDES BENZ ESPAÑA, S.A., NISSAN IBERIA, S.A., PEUGEOT ESPAÑA, S.A., PORSCHE IBÉRICA, S.A., RENAULT ESPAÑA COMERCIAL, S.A., SEAT, S.A., SNAP-ON BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, S.L., TOYOTA ESPAÑA, S.L., URBAN SCIENCE ESPAÑA, S.L.U., VOLKSWAGEN AUDI ESPAÑA, S.A. and VOLVO CAR ESPAÑA, S.A.. SEAT, S.A. as well as the other companies forming part of the Group to which it belongs (VOLKSWAGEN AUDI ESPAÑA, S.A. and PORSCHE IBÉRICA, S.A.), met the requirements set out in article 65 of the LDC and, consequently, were exempted from paying the fine relating to their participation in the infringing conduct.

Claims enforcement with CDC

Companies and individuals harmed by the car cartel are entitled to claim the damages suffered, plus interest, from the car manufacturers. As in CDC’s other cases, we offer to those cartel victims the full outsourcing of the claims enforcement process. Operating under the ‘assignment model’ invented by CDC, we together with our cooperation partners act as a one-stop-shop covering all relevant areas of claims enforcement, such as legal, economics, data collection/analysis, funding, negotiating and – if necessary – litigation in court. In addition, the assignment model allows CDC to assume all enforcement-related costs and risks (including the adverse cost risk in case of losing in court) to the benefit of victims of the car cartel. These are among the many reasons why already thousands of companies and individuals harmed by the Spanish car manufacturers cartel have entrusted their claims to CDC.

To provide attractive commercial conditions for everyone, we offer two different purchase price models to choose from:

  • For those interested in an early substantial upfront payment, CDC offers a direct payment of EUR 100.00 upon the transfer of damage claim to CDC. This upfront payment is paid regardless of whether the claims enforcement will be successful and is accompanied by a 50/50 split of the net compensation recovered.
  • For cartel victims who would rather keep a bigger share of the potential compensation to be recovered instead of a substantial upfront payment, we offer our traditional 75/25 split model.

 Learn more about both models here.

Referral program

To gain as many supporters for our action against the car manufacturers cartel as possible, we have established a referral program anyone can participate in. Through this, we offer EUR 20.00 to everyone successfully referring a friend, family member, colleague, or acquaintance, to our cause. Participating is as simple as it gets, all one needs to do to get started is share an individual referral link to our registration platform via e-mail or social media. Click here to find out more about our referral program.