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Movilidad, consumo sostenible y RSE

OCU sues car dealership and brands due to anti competitive practices

09 jun. 2016
The lawsuit is being brought against 160 dealerships and 23 automotive brands for fixing prices and exchanging sensitive commercial information, actions which were detrimental to consumers

Last July, a total of 21 automobile manufacturers and 250 dealerships were fined 171 million Euros by the National Commission for Markets and Competition  (CNMC). This Regulatory Authority found sufficient evidence to prove that the implicated companies, which together have a market share of 91%, carried out an agreed upon strategy to fix prices and exchange sensitive information between 2006 and 2013. This was done in direct violation of competition laws and damaged thousands of consumers who paid hundreds of Euros more than they should have for their vehicles.

As a result of this sanction, OCU began the process to file a class action lawsuit against the sanctioned companies in order for those individuals affected by these anti-competitive practices to be able to legally demand compensation for the damages caused.

In the end, more than 1,300 individuals will be represented by OCU, which has just filed a class action lawsuit for settlement with the courts. The goal of this suit is to reach an agreement with the defendants that avoids the need to go to trial and also satisfies the rights and interests of the consumers affected by the practices denounced by the CNMC.

OCU reminds consumers that free competition is a fundamental requirement that guarantees their ability to truly compare products and services offered on the market and choose the option that best satisfies their needs. Price is, of course, one of the most important elements in this decision-making process. For this reason, we feel that the companies sued in this lawsuit must, at the very least, return the difference between the price paid by the affected consumers and the real price the vehicles would have cost had these companies not participated in the anti-competitive practices as proven by the CNMC. The amount of this difference could be as much as 10% of the price of the vehicle purchased.

For more information, please contact Eva Jiménez (media). Telephone: 917226061 prensa@ocu.org