The competition authorities in Italy have fined 678 million euros to twenty car manufacturers and banks, including Renault, Fiat Chrysler Y Toyota, for forming a cartel in products to finance the sale of vehicles. The investigation of Antitrust, the Italian agency of competition, began after a lawsuit filed by Daimler and Mercedes Benz Financial Services Italy.
The researchers discovered a unique, complex and continuous alliance that aimed to exchange sensitive information regarding current and future quantities and prices between 2003 and 2017, the Italian competition agenda said in a statement.
The list of companies fined with a total of 678 million euros includes Banque PSA Italy, Banque PSA Finance, Santander Consumer Bank, BMW Bank, BMW, FCA Bank, FCA Italy, CA Consumer Finance, FCE Bank, Ford Motor Company, General Motor Financial Italy, General Motors Company, RCI Banque, Renault, Toyota Financial Services, Toyota Motor Corporation, Volkswagen Bank, Volkswagen, as well as the financial companies Assofin and Assilea.
The Italian competition protection agency has informed that this agreement was carried out between 2003 and 2017, with the aim of altering the competitive dynamics in the car sales market through the financing provided by the brand's financial companies or with which they maintained commercial relations. Daimler and Mercedes Benz Financial Services Italy, have obtained full immunity for filing the lawsuit and have avoided a sanction of more than 60 million euros.