The European Court of Justice has all but wiped out anti-competition fines carmaker DaimlerChrysler was ordered to pay in 2001 by the European Commission.
It means a some 62 million euro saving for the German-American company. Two unfair sales practice rulings were overturned: Restricting sales of Mercedes cars in Germany to residents of that country; and limiting sales to independent leasing companies in Spain and Germany. A third ruling was upheld, concerning price-fixing in Belgium. That one comes with a 9.8 million euro fine.
The Commission had argued that consumers’ rights had been infringed, but the court said those two charges were either not coordinated with other brands or were within the law, so the behaviour was acceptable. The charge in Belgium was that the manufacturer had arranged with sales outlets to give no price reductions, an accusation which stuck.