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Friday 23.03.2018 | Name days: Mirdza, Žanete, Žanna

Volkswagen traders cartel fined EUR 7.6 million

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RULatvian Competition Council has decided to punish official Volkswagen brand car dealers and importers for carrying out a prohibited agreement. Over the course of at least five years businessmen had been coordinating their participation in procurements, which only served to liquidate competition among them, deform overall supply and deny consumers the possibility of procuring Volkswagen brand cars at favourable conditions.

Six companies – SD Autocentrs, Ripo Autocentrs, Moller Auto Krasta, Moller Auto Ventspils, Moller Auto Latvia and Moller Auto Import – have been fined EUR 7,635,183.31 for participation in an illegal scheme.

One company has been relieved of paying the fine because it cooperated with the investigation.

CC has uncovered that companies had agreed not to compete with one another in procurements.

One of the importer companies in Latvia – Moller Auto Import – not only was informed of the scheme and did nothing to oppose the established division of the market, but also contributed to it and supported this clearly illegal agreement by working as an information exchange mediator.

Even though it is not possible to discover the total number of victims of this cartel, it is clear – this particular scheme was present for a long time and new Volkswagen cars remain some of the most popular in Latvia. During the investigation of this illegal scheme, CC acquired information of a correspondence maintained by members of the cartel regarding procurements held by private companies, state companies and agencies, as well as municipalities, schools and other institutions.

Because it is possible that buyers of Volkswagen cars who had acquired their vehicles though the process of an open procurement had most likely overpaid for them, CC urges all buyers to turn to the companies who had provided such services to them and request to cover losses. Members of the cartel, on the other hand, are asked to voluntarily develop a refund system for consumers in order to reduce consequences of their violation.


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