Mercedes-Benz Trucks, Dealers Fined $4.2 Million by U.K. Agency

Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz trucks unit and five dealers in Britain selling its vehicles were fined 2.8 million pounds ($4.2 million) by the U.K. antitrust regulator for allegedly coordinating prices and sharing commercially sensitive information.

The fines relate to five violations of competition law from 2007 to 2010, with each including two or three dealers, the Office of Fair Trading said in a statement today.

The OFT last year dropped a separate probe into the Mercedes unit and companies including Fiat Industrial SpA’s Iveco brand to let the European Union focus on the case, which involves a suspected cartel of truckmakers. In that probe, the head of Mercedes-Benz trucks in the U.K. was arrested in 2010, and then released on bail when the probe began.

Mercedes said it reached a settlement with OFT to resolve the probe and has learned from the investigation. The company said the deal relates to a single meeting held in 2009.

“The company has strengthened its internal controls, and every member of staff participates in comprehensive and ongoing integrity training programs,” spokesman Rob Halloway said in an e-mailed statement. “The company and its staff have fully cooperated with the investigators over the past three years.’