Italian Watchdog Fines Automakers €678M Over Finance Cartel

Law360 (January 9, 2019, 5:12 PM EST) -- Italy's competition watchdog slapped automakers BMW, Fiat-Chrysler, Ford and Toyota and their banking operations with a combined €678 million ($776 million) fine Wednesday for running a financing cartel that authorities said reduced competition for selling certain cars. 

The car makers, including General Motors, Peugeot-Citroen, Renault and Volkswagen, their consumer-lending affiliates and the likes of Santander Consumer Bank shared sensitive stock and price information that altered the "competitive dynamics in the market" of dealer-financed car sales, the Italian Competition Authority said. 

Between 2003 and 2017 automakers, their banking subsidiaries and trade associations Assofin and Assilea exchanged sensitive commercial information about the lending terms dealers offered...

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