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A COMPANY which has a vehicle dealership in Blackburn has been fined following an inquiry into market rigging.

The case, which centres on the distribution of Mercedes-Benz trucks and vans in the north of England and parts of Wales and Scotland, resulted in a fine of £1.5million for the Daimler-owned company.

Ciceley, which has Mercedes dealerships in Commercial Road, Blackburn, Great Lever, Carlisle, and Dumfries, was fined £659,675, while the penalties for Enza Motors, of Warrington, Stoke, Trafford Park, and Manchester, and North-Wales-based Road Range were £347,000, and £115,000, respectively.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) identified three separate breaches of competition law in relation to market sharing, price co-ordination, and the exchange of commercially-sensitive information, and has fined Mercedes-Benz and three commercial vehicle dealers £2.6million Ali Nikpay, OFT senior director of cartels, said: “These cases send a clear signal that the OFT will take firm action against companies that collude to deny customers the benefit of fair competition, regardless of the size of the firms.”