Carmakers across EU raided on suspicion of breaking cartel rules

The EU Commission is working closely with the CMA, investigating suspected anti-competitive conduct in relation to the recycling of old or written-off vehicles

Big Zero Report 2022

The automotive sector in the EU is under scrutiny as the European Commission conducted unannounced inspections at the premises of companies and associations active in the industry in several countries.

The Commission is working closely with the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate suspected anti-competitive conduct or breaking cartel rules in relation to the recycling of old or written-off vehicles.

End-of-life vehicles (ELVs) are categorised as waste, generally due to age-related failure or accident and regulation requires these vehicles to be disposed of in a sustainable way.

Vehicle manufacturers must offer their customers a free service for recycling ELVs.

The EU Commission has also sent out formal requests for information to several companies active in the automotive sector.

It stated: “Unannounced inspections and requests for information are a preliminary investigatory step into suspected anti-competitive practices. The fact that the Commission carries out such inspections and sends out formal requests for information does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.

“The Commission fully respects the rights of defence, in particular the right of companies to be heard in antitrust proceedings.”

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