BMW AG has been issued with a £30,000 fine, plus a daily penalty of £15,000, after it failed to provide information following a CMA information request
Information requests are legal tools used by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to obtain documents and information for its investigations into suspected anti-competitive conduct. The CMA regularly makes such mandatory requests to ensure the findings from its investigations are robust and evidence based.
In March this year, the CMA launched an investigation into a number of vehicle manufacturers and trade associations over suspected breaches of competition law. Specifically, this relates to the use of recycled materials in cars, their recyclability, and the arrangements for recycling old or written-off vehicles.
The CMA believes that important aspects of the suspected conduct were agreed outside the UK and implemented in the UK. The CMA suspects that BMW AG, which is based in Germany, or other BMW Group companies based outside the UK, hold information which the CMA considers important to its investigation. The CMA therefore wrote to BMW Group formally requiring it to produce information, including from its parent company BMW AG.
Although BMW UK provided information, the wider BMW Group has failed to comply fully with the CMA’s legal request, and has claimed that the CMA does not have jurisdiction. The CMA does not accept this contention and is therefore issuing fines for non-compliance with the information requests: both a fixed penalty of £30,000 and a daily penalty of £15,000. The daily penalty will continue to accumulate until BMW Group provides the requested information, or the CMA issues an infringement decision, or the case is closed.
For more information, the text of the penalty decision can be found on the case page: Suspected anti-competitive conduct in relation to the recycling of end-of-life vehicles.
Notes to Editors
The legislation relevant to the CMA’s investigation is the Competition Act 1998. The Chapter I prohibition of the Competition Act 1998 prohibits agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings, and concerted practices which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction, or distortion of competition within the UK or a part of it and which may affect trade within the UK or a part of it unless they are excluded or exempt.
In a Competition Act 1998 investigation, the CMA has the power to require any person, including ‘undertakings’, to produce specified documents and information which it considers relates to any matter relevant to its investigation.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW AG) is the ultimate parent company of the undertaking formed by the BMW group of companies (BMW Group). BMW (UK) Limited (BMW UK) is part of the BMW Group.
Information requests can include a wide range of documents and information, such as copies of emails, minutes of meetings and/or information about internal roles and responsibilities.
A company subject to a penalty imposed for failure to comply with an information request issued under section 26 CA98 may appeal against the decision to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
The European Commission launched a separate investigation into end-of-life vehicles on the same day as the CMA.
For media enquiries, contact the CMA press office on 020 3738 6460 or firstname.lastname@example.org.