Stephen Blake, senior director of cartels and criminal enforcement at the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), has written an open letter to remind vehicle manufacturers and dealers about the dangers of anti-competitive activity.
In it, he recounts last year's case in which Mercedes-Benz and five of its commercial vehicle dealers were fined £2.8 million in total for engaging in unlawful cartel activity.
In that case, businesses sought to limit competition for the sale of vans or trucks. In one instance two dealers agreed that they would include a ‘substantial’ margin in quotations to customers based in each other’s area. In another, two dealers agreed that they would not prospect customers from each other’s area.
Blake said: "Cartelists deprive consumers and other businesses of the benefits of fair competition. In the long run, cartels also undermine competitiveness in the wider economy."