German Auto Cartel Lawsuit
This is a putative class action against members of the German motor vehicle manufacturing industry, whose luxury brands, including Audi, BMW, Daimler, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Porsche, and Volkswagen are prominent and distributed widely throughout the United States.
Plaintiffs and putative class members, consisting of current and former dealerships, allege that German auto manufacturers and their United States subsidiaries operated as a cartel in part by colluding to limit competition and fix prices, which resulted in decreased profit margins for their direct customers, franchised dealerships that distribute defendants’ vehicles to American consumers. Plaintiffs assert that this unlawful activity dates back to the 1990s.
On July 27, 2017, a German magazine, Der Spiegel, released an article “Collusion Between Germany's Biggest Carmakers” exposing the cartel in Europe. The article states, “It is not just a matter of the establishment of an exclusive club of the five German automakers with the goal of attaining economic advantages over the competition. The secret agreements are also detrimental to customers, who buy German vehicles because, among other things, they expect to be getting the best possible products from a technical standpoint.”
The complaint alleges that defendants violated United States antitrust laws by sharing commercially-sensitive information and entering unlawful agreements regarding pricing, costs, markets, technology, suppliers, equipment and other competitive attributes.
If you are a current or former dealership of any of the aforementioned German automobile manufacturers and would like more information about this case, you may contact us by calling (916) 520-6639.
To view a copy of the Complaint, please click here.