Car cartel: first sentences are coming in
The first ruling of the Commercial Court of Palencia to resolve a claim for the car cartel is now official and establishes that the amount of compensation amounts to 5% of the price of the car purchased at the time, according to the calculation made by the head of the court in Palencia.
The judgment, which can be appealed to the Provincial Court, establishes a compensation for infringement of competition law of 1,138.74 euros, plus legal interest, in favor of the Palencia buyer, who sued the firm PSAG Automóviles Comercial España SA after acquiring a Citroën car in December 2007, the cost of which amounted to 22,749.73 euros.
The buyer of the vehicle went to the courts of Justice to claim 16.93% of the value of the car (3,860.08 euros) for the excess cost derived from the aforementioned infringement of the rules of free competition. The plaintiff based its claim on the fact that in 2015 the National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) sanctioned with 171 million euros to companies manufacturing and distributing car brands in Spain for restrictive practices of competition, specifically for agreements in price fixing.
Among the sanctioned companies, the defendant in this proceeding was among the companies sanctioned, and it concerns vehicles purchased between 2006 and 2013. The CNMC's sanction was ratified by the National Court and its decision was in turn upheld by the Supreme Court.
The head of the Commercial Court of Palencia (which acts as the Court of First Instance and Preliminary Investigation Number 1) argues that, due to different circumstances, it is impossible to quantify the damage caused by this unlawful commercial practice, so she considers "a reasonable damage" equivalent to 5% of the total purchase price of the vehicles.