Questions and Answers

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Our team is happy to answer your questions personally via phone or via email. Most common questions are answered below - but feel free to contact us in any case.

Joining the Foundation

You most likely have paid too much for any medium or heavy trucks (6 tons or over) you purchased or leased in the 1997-2011 period in Europe.

Working with us, there is a good chance to get your money back. With additional interest accumulating on the overcharge since the purchase date, you could receive a significant payback. We assume an average damages claim at around EUR 10.000 per truck.

Click create account at the top of this page. You will be requested to provide information about your company or companies that purchased or leased trucks during the 1997-2011 cartel period and about your trucks.

We will verify your information and send you our agreements. Once the agreements are signed, we will proceed to include your damages claim in the Dutch litigation.

All medium and heavy duty trucks sold between 1997 and 2011 in Europe are likely affected, if they were produced by one of the involved trucks manufacturers.

Creating an account is simple and should take less than a minute. Providing information about your companies and the affected trucks will take a bit longer, depending on the size of your organization.

Once the agreements are signed, and your trucks information has been uploaded, we will proceed to include your damages claim in the Dutch litigation. The Foundation does most of the work and prepares all documentation for the court. For your claim to be successful however, we require information about your trucks, as indicated in the question above.

During the proceedings our team will periodically inform you of relevant developments and updates.

The cooperation agreement is where we agree what you can expect from us, such as periodic progress updates, and what we reasonably expect from you, such as copies of your purchase/lease orders. The assignment agreement is where we agree that you assign the claim to the Foundation.

You should check which legal entities (may have) purchased or leased trucks in their own name in a EU/EEA membership country during the cartel period, because each of these legal entities will need to sign individual agreements with the Foundation.

We are happy to help. Call or email us anytime if you have questions. Please find our contact details here

Yes, but there are risks associated with joining late. Your claims may become time-barred and every day, more and more relevant (internal, external and / or publicly available) data becomes unavailable. As this data might be required for a successful outcome, joining early will provide you with the best chance to avoid losing this data and to ensure a beneficial outcome of the claim.

No, once you have signed the agreements with the Foundation, we will proceed to include your claims in the legal proceedings. It is not possible to join any other initiative.

NACE - Nomenclature des Activités Économiques dans la Communauté Européenne - is a European industry standard classification system to help classify business activities. This code is needed by CEG to calculate the damages (refer to question 19). You will find your Company's NACE code in your Chamber of Commerce Business Register extract.

Common codes are:
38.11 Collection of non-hazardous waste
41.11 Demolition
44.11 Construction of roads and motorways
49.41 Freight transport by road
64.91 Financial Leasing
77.21 Rental and leasing of trucks

Providing Evidence

We will ask you to substantiate your claim:

(i) identify eligible trucks and their basic characteristics (such as brand, Vehicle Identification Number and (period of) ownership or leasing);

(ii) a selected set of receipts and other purchase / lease related data.

These data are required to calculate and prove your damages caused by the cartel. Having more details available allows our experts to provide a more robust assessment, potentially increasing your claim’s value and decrease associated (litigation) risks. Our experts may get in touch for additional data requests in due course.

We know that older data may be difficult to find. We will gladly help you to resolve any limitations in data availability.

After having created an account on this website, you can upload all types of files to provide data that identify eligible trucks and their basic characteristics (brand, Vehicle Identification Number and (period of) ownership), receipts and other purchase / lease related data.

We suggest to secure all documents that may contain relevant data, such as:

  • orders;
  • order confirmations;
  • purchases;
  • invoices;
  • truck option lists;
  • lease contracts;
  • bank account statements (showing the transfer of the purchase prices);
  • tax documentation (vehicle tax);
  • driver log books (can be used as evidence of owning this truck during the period);
  • Maintenance and repair logs and invoices;
  • internal, audited reports.

Your data will enable our experts (see below question 38) to calculate your damages and to enable our lawyers to prove these damages in court.

For the data privacy and security perspective, please see our Privacy Policy

Often, there are multiple solutions for obtaining the required data, and we will be available to facilitate you and help you where we can. Please contact us with any questions you have in this respect.

We would be glad to discuss your specific requirements and facilitate tailor-made solutions if possible. Please get in touch with us via e-mail or call us: Click here

In some cases it means data has been entered incorrectly, in others that the STCC will split the recovered amount between several Claimants based on the outcome of the judgement or the settlement agreement.

Monetary Value

Yes. Calculating your exact damages is a complicated matter, for which we have instructed expert economists CEG. They will undertake the damages analysis for the Dutch Court. By using your data, they will estimate possible damages caused by the truck cartel from 1997-2011. Until they have completed their assessment, the Foundation estimates that the provisional damage is around EUR 10,000 per truck based on the application of academic analyses of cartel overcharges on the average EU gross price for a truck.

Overcharge is the markup on prices caused by a cartel. Like a traditional price fixing cartel, coordination between trucks manufacturers on gross list prices may have led to an uplift in the price for the truck (and potentially features and add-ons), to the detriment of the truck purchaser and lessee.

A determination of cartel damages is typically performed by comparing the actual situation (the actual price paid for a given truck in the cartel period) with the hypothetical situation (the situation in which there would have been no cartel). The overcharge is calculated as the difference between the two scenarios.

We are currently calculating with an overcharge per truck of EUR 10.000 per truck. For details see Question 17.

The chances are high. The European Commission has provided court admissible evidence of the existence of the cartel. We believe firmly in the successful and positive outcome for this case and are therefore willing to take all the financial risk.

As stated in the European Commission’s press release: ‘’Any person or firm affected by anti-competitive behaviour as described in this case may bring the matter before the courts of the Member States and seek damages. The case law of the Court and Council Regulation 1/2003 both confirm that in cases before national courts, a Commission decision constitutes binding proof that the behaviour took place and was illegal. Even though the Commission has fined the companies concerned, damages may be awarded without being reduced on account of the Commission fine.’’

We expect that the trucks manufacturers will try to settle fairly only with those who took part in well organised legal proceedings against them.

When, following a court judgment or settlement, the Foundation expects to receive payments from trucks manufacturers, the Foundation will make the necessary preparations to distribute the compensation to you. Considering the large number of companies that the Foundation will have to distribute the compensation to and the expected complexity, the Foundation expects to need around 2 months before it can start paying out.

We work on a no cure-no pay basis and if we are successful in claiming your damages, you receive 70% of the funds received, after deduction of litigation costs. Our funder, Omni Bridgeway, receives 30% as compensation for taking the full financial risk should the claim for any reason be unsuccessful, for pre-financing the lawyers and experts and for our dedicated team managing the entire process.

The Foundation will use the existing IT system to allocate payout values to each truck and company according to the court ruling or settlement agreement, taking the assignment agreement into account. To ensure a safe and orderly payout process, the Foundation will request bank details with a registered letter when the payout process is initiated. Companies can then provide the relevant bank account details (Authorized signatories will need to provide signatures on the document) and will receive an email and paper based confirmation of the details once they have been added to the Foundation's IT system. Once prepared, the Foundation will initiate an automated payment process supervised by our auditors to ensure the correct payments are made. Upon completion, all contact persons will receive another payment confirmation via mail and email.

The Proceedings

On 18 July 2017, we initiated legal proceedings. The proceedings are currently pending before the Court of Amsterdam which is highly experienced in similarly large and complex (cartel) cases – and should therefore be very efficient.

We expect the proceedings to take at least a few years, as this is a large case in which the trucks manufacturers and their law firms may be expected to raise many defenses. Refuting their arguments and convincing the court requires significant time and effort for the Foundation, and the court will also need time to properly address all arguments.

Yes, but not from your side. You need to provide certain data regarding the affected trucks (see question 11). Our internal team, our experts and the lawyers will do the rest.

No, because you have assigned your claim to the Foundation, the Foundation appears in court with its lawyers and files the damages claim in its own name

Filing a successful action against defendants who have deep pockets and are legally sophisticated entails high costs and risks. Single claimants alone may not be prepared to bear these costs and legal risks. It is for this reason that the Trucks Cartel Compensation Foundation has decided to organize and manage one European collective action against the trucks manufacturers.

Another main reason is efficiency, also for the courts. With the Foundation being the main actor, there is only one claimant rather than many individual ones. This avoids unnecessary paperwork and improves efficiency.

In addition, working with the Foundation also creates a form of anonymity, because the Foundation claims compensation in its own name and it will be the Foundation’s name to appear on court orders and documentation.

Statutes of limitations may differ across EU/EEA member states and may differ per case. The Foundation, being a Pan-European initiative, is aware of this. Please contact us if you would like to hear more.

One of the possible arguments the defendants will try to convince the judge of is 'pass-on', i.e. the reduction of damages because some of the price increase caused by the cartel was passed on / charged to the customers of the companies that purchased or leased trucks in the cartel period.

The Dutch Court has taken a critical view with respect to the pass-on argument when brought up by cartelist defendants, as it increases the group of claimants and could ultimately end up at the consumer level, which makes a claim almost unworkable.

We have no reason to expect the trucks manufacturers to go bankrupt as a result of the outcome of this case. Having benefited from the overcharge for almost 14 years, their capitalization and balance sheets are robust.

No, it will / should not. The Foundation only claims compensation from the trucks manufacturers, who organized the cartel mostly at senior management level. Moreover, the court proceedings are not conducted in your name but in the name of the Foundation.

Lawyers and Experts

Brande & Verheij: The law firm that handles the cases is the competition and litigation team of Loyens & Loeff, recently spun off in its entirety into specialist litigation firm Brande & Verheij.

Jeroen van den Brande, Attorney at law, Partner at Brande & Verheij.

Jeroen van den Brande has broad experience in all aspects of commercial litigation, arbitration and general contract law. He specialises in complex litigation with a focus on international private law, termination of commercial contracts, breach of contract and product liability cases. He has broad experience in national and international procedures, including procedures before the European court of Justice.

Assessing the effect of competition cases requires the application of economic theory and quantitative analysis. For this, we have retained internationally renowned firm CEG Global, a globally top 20-ranked competition economics consultancy, according to Global Competition Review.

With CEG’s involvement, we will be able to present rigorous economic evidence to substantiate the damages claimed and critically review the defendants' economic analysis and arguments.

CEG brings together senior professionals with experience in industry, consultancy and academia to offer insightful and dependable advice on key corporate decisions. CEG has been in the forefront of economic consultancies advising on private actions against those in breach of competition law in Europe.

Using robust economics and finance theory and quantitative techniques, CEG experts prepare reports, provide input into client submissions, advise on case strategy, and provide testimony and presentations before government agencies, courts and arbitral tribunals across the globe. CEG Global has a detailed website, please follow this link to learn more:www.ceg-global.com.

The Foundation

Good question, with two important answers:

First, Trucks Cartel Compensation Foundation is supported by Omni Bridgeway, the leading European litigation financing firm. Omni Bridgeway provides organisational, structural and management experience to the Foundation and ensures adequate funding for a successful outcome of the case. Based on the past work by Omni Bridgeway, the Foundation has a solid basis for a positive and financially optimal result for all.

Secondly, there are good reasons to create a foundation to handle legal proceedings for a group of claimants:

Filing a successful action against defendants who have deep pockets and are legally sophisticated entails high costs and risks. Single claimants alone may not be prepared to bear these costs and legal risks. It is for this reason that the Trucks Cartel Compensation Foundation has decided to organize and manage one European collective action against the trucks manufacturers.

Another main reason is efficiency, also for the courts. With the Foundation being the main actor, there is only one claimant rather than many individual ones. This avoids unnecessary paperwork and improves efficiency.

In addition, working with the Foundation also creates a form of anonymity, because the Foundation claims compensation in its own name and it will be the Foundation’s name to appear on court orders and documentation.

The larger the initiative, the stronger the bargaining power. Stronger bargaining power facilitates our aim to obtain the best compensation for the damages incurred by purchasers and lessees of trucks.

The Foundation has filed suit in the jurisdiction of the Netherlands, which is internationally recognized as efficient and professional. The Amsterdam Court is one of the few highly experienced courts in Europe in dealing with large, international and complex cartel damages cases like the trucks cartel case.

By appointing the best lawyers, economists and other experts in this matter, the Foundation has maximized the potential for a successful recovery of damages in the best forum available.

The Foundation is financed by Omni Bridgeway, the leading European litigation financing firm. It is important to join a financially healthy initiative as the case will be complex, lengthy and costly.

The Foundation and its lawyers welcome healthy ideas and input, which could influence the decisions. However, for the sake of efficiency and to optimise the outcome for the whole group of companies that join the Foundation’s initiative, decisions are ultimately made by the Foundation.

The Foundation periodically updates you on the legal proceedings as well as when important events happen. In the meantime, we are always happy to answer any questions as they may arise.

Whom to contact?

If your company is small, you should discuss this directly with the owner or executive in charge of legal decisions. In larger organisations, you can forward our information to your legal department. If you own the company, please feel free to create an account and take a look at the options available.

You can contact us directly via our contact page if you have questions. Our team will be happy to answer your questions. You can also create an account to get a better insight into how the system works and what kind of information is needed.

We are happy to support small operations during the sign-up and data provision process. We can work with your lawyers or a team member you designate as a contact person to move this forward. Please feel free to register your company and we will reach out to you with more contact details.

Large companies have unique needs when it comes to this case, mostly relating to contractual relationships and data/document provisioning. We are prepared to help and we have significant experience in working with large and complex organisations and cases. Our technical and support team can create custom solutions to move this case forward and to minimise the effort required on your side. Please call us at the number above or contact us here .

We are already working with some of Europe's largest leasing companies and are experienced in creating tailored solutions to facilitate working on your claim. Please reach out to us via the phone number above or the contact form .

DocuSign Electronic Signatures

DocuSign® Inc. is an American company headquartered in San Francisco, California that allows organizations to manage electronic agreements. DocuSign® offers eSignature, a solution which allows parties to sign electronically and digitally using different devices such mobile phones, tablets and computers everywhere and at any time. DocuSign® has over 475,000 customers and hundreds of millions of users in more than 180 countries. Signatures processed by DocuSign®, including EU Advanced Signatures (AES), are fully compliant with the European Union's eIDAS regulation. For more info click here.

EU Regulation No 910/2014 (the eIDAS Regulation) went into force on July 1, 2016 having ‘direct effect’—in other words, being mandatory and wholly adopted in all EU member states, with precedent over any conflicting national laws. It replaced the eSignature Directive (1999/93/EC) and established an EU-wide legal framework for electronic signatures and a range of newly defined electronic “trust services”. The eIDAS Regulation’s intent is to enable convenient and secure electronic transactions across EU borders for citizens, businesses, and public sector institutions.

Any data in electronic form which is attached to or logically associated with other data in electronic form and which is used by the signatory to sign. In other words, it is an electronic form of signature that a signer can apply to a document as evidence of their intent, acceptance or approval. Electronic signatures are used to sign documents such as offer letters, sales contracts, rental/lease agreements, financial documents etc. and are admissible in evidence. Digital signatures are part of the electronic signature family and refer to Advanced and Qualified Electronic Signatures.

This is relevant as the suit will be filed by the Foundation, a Dutch legal entity, in a Dutch court. For more details please click here. DocuSign® provides the “leading electronic signature solutions’ referred to in the link.

Where possible we’ve been able to find pages that are available in Italian. We apologize for the fact that some pages are only available in English. DocuSign offers Italian speaking Support, which is, if required, readily available during the signing process.

Firstly, our endeavour to process large amounts of agreements and keep costs low requires the Foundation to regularly assess and improve our processes. Especially during these very trying times. Adopting electronic signatures helps us to meet new needs successfully. Secondly, our lawyers, Brande & Verheij, feel that signing electronically might lead to less deliberations in court w.r.t. the way the agreement has been entered into. Thirdly, we hope this will increase ease of use and give you the opportunity to sign everywhere at any time. Our signing process does not, for example, involve printing or scanning.

Complying with EU regulation means that any electronic document sent between two EU countries is safe, legally compliant, and regulated. In addition: • DocuSign® France has authenticated the Foundation’s identity, the e-seal is genuine. • Nobody can change the contents of the fully encrypted agreement after it has been sent and signed. • An audit trail is generated for each agreement that captures everything that happens to the document with time and date stamps. • ISO 27001 certified, DocuSign® provides bank-grade security and assurance. • Documents signed electronically are admissible in court and cannot be denied legal effect as between the signatories thereto for the reason that they signed electronically In addition, DocuSign meets and exceeds some of the most stringent US, EU, and global security standards. Their commitment to and significant ongoing investment toward protecting your data extends to all of DocuSign’s operating environments. For more information please click here.

PICTURES

The Foundation signs many agreements on a single day. Electronic seals may be used by legal entities—including a Dutch foundation—to certify the integrity and origin of an agreement. Using an electronic or e-seal helps us to efficiently sign all our agreements. The Foundation's EU Advanced Electronic Seal will be embedded before we send the agreement to you for counter signing. This ensures the origin and authenticity of the agreement sealed with it. Authenticity of an electronic document means the sealed document meets the requirements set out in Article 36 of eIDAS.

DocuSign® France is a “Trust Service Provider” and the entity providing the actual delivery of the EU Advanced Electronic Seal. The eIDAS Regulation defines the standards for how trust service providers are to perform their services of authentication and non-repudiation. The regulation also provides guidance to EU member states on how trust service providers shall be regulated and recognized. Last but not least, eIDAS requires that the EU will maintain an EU Trust List that lists the providers and services that have received qualified status. The Foundation has retained DocuSign® France to provide the e-seal.

The process you will be going through is simple and straightforward and merely requires you to click a few buttons. You just need to follow the prompts and instructions. The screen you will open will be in Italian. Pls feel free to change the language using the …. at the bottom of the page. In case you require information up-front please click here. In case you need information up-front about the ID verification process please click here. Both links provide step-by-step instructions on how to sign the agreement and go through the ID validation process.

The validation process requires one of the following government photo IDs: passport, driver’s license, or EU identity card. Kindly refrain from uploading old identity cards.

By ticking this box, you basically acknowledge that the agreement has been signed digitally.

DocuSign uses the geolocation options built into most modern web browsers to track the approximate location of where the signing took place. The accuracy of this location ranges from a few hundred feet to about 80-100 miles. This is an additional authentication method to help secure the validity of the signed agreement. We do not require signers share their location information in order to sign a document; it is completely optional. However, we strongly recommend keeping this feature enabled as it is one more additional layer of authenticity around the signing of the agreement.

Yes, once you complete the signing process you will receive a digital copy of the agreement by e-mail.

Please use the chat function on the DocuSign signature page for any questions you may have or issue you may encounter during the signing process. As stated above, this Support is available in Italian. Alternatively, please send us an e-mail @ italia@truck-cartel.com, call us at +39 349 5340065 or click here

Our Team is ready to support you. Register your company here.