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Swiss competition watchdog wraps up car-leasing collusion case

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Ford Credit Switzerland was the last of the companies to reach a settlement with authorities. © Keystone / Christian Beutler

COMCO has concluded a major investigation of nine car-leasing firms for rate-fixing and fined Ford Credit Switzerland some CHF7.7 million ($8.39 million).

The ruling on Thursday comes two years after COMCO fined the other eight companies around CHF30 million for systematically exchanging information about leasing rates and conditions over several years.

The companies kept each other informed about interest rates and the residual value of leased cars, using this information to set monthly rates for consumers. “Such exchange of information violates the law on cartels,” COMCO said.

Ford Credit Switzerland was the last company to come to a settlement with the authorities. The “car leasing” investigation is now over, COMCO said – although Ford can yet appeal the fine to the Federal Administrative Court.

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The other firms involved in 2019 were AMAG Leasing AG, BMW Financial Services, FCA Capital Suisse SA, Multilease AG, Opel Finance SA, PSA Finance Suisse SA, RCI Finance SA, Ford Credit Switzerland, and Mercedez-Benz Financial Services Schweiz. 

The last company in the list was the first to blow the whistle on its own conduct, and thus avoided receiving any sanctions, COMCO noted at the time.

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