The European Union has imposed approximately $1 billion in fines on Bayerische Motoren Werke AG BMWYY and Volkswagen AG VWAGY for a collusion scheme designed to limit the slow the introduction of AdBlue emissions-cleaning technology.
What Happened: BMW will pay approximately $422.3 million and Volkswagen will pay about $595.3 million in their respective settlements.
The EU stated the car manufacturers joined with three other German carmakers — Audi AG AUDVF, Daimler AG DMLRY and Porsche Automobil Holding SE POAHY — in a cartel that conspired to delay the technology designed to reduce nitrogen oxide gases from diesel cars.
According to a Politico report, Daimler received immunity from the EU because it was the first to denounce its participation in the cartel. No action has been announced yet against Audi and Porsche.
What Else Happened: "Competition and innovation on managing car pollution are essential for Europe to meet our ambitious Green Deal objectives," said EU Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager. "This decision shows that we will not hesitate to take action against all forms of cartel conduct putting in jeopardy this goal."
The car makers were accused of breaching EU antitrust rules between 2006 to 2014, and the initial charges against the companies were filed in April 2019.
Volkswagen stated it would consider appealing the ruling, which has a mid-September deadline for seeking its overturn, while BMW issued a statement saying it would abide by the decision because the EU "dropped most of its charges of antitrust violations."
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