European Union raids Daimler and Volkswagen, further expands cartel inquiry

European Union raids Daimler and Volkswagen, further expands cartel inquiry

EUROPE'S watchdog has confirmed overnight that it had raided the head offices of "several German auto brands" as it launches an investigation into cartel-like practices affecting diesel-engined cars.

In this latest case, Wolfsburg-based VW and Stuttgart-based Daimler were among the first to hand over details of the alleged broader collusion between the five automakers to competition authorities, reported Spiegel, saying it had seen a relevant VW document.

The EU's competition watchdog said in July that it was investigating an alleged cartel among Germany's top automakers on suspicion they conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over decades.

The investigation has apparently gained momentum last week with Daimler disclosing that it had sought whistleblower status to avoid fines n the matter.


Regulators are concerned the companies may have violated antitrust rules, the European Union said in a statement emailed mailed to news outlet.

The EU Commission, the bloc's executive arm, said in a statement that it had carried out inspections "related to. concerns that several German vehicle manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices". BMW and Volkswagen Group - along with Ford - are also working together to develop a fast-charging network throughout Europe to support electric vehicles ahead of even tighter vehicle emissions standards due in about 2022. "The Volkswagen group and the group companies concerned have been cooperating for a long time with the european Commission", assured the German giant.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported in July that Volkswagen, its units Porsche and Audi, Daimler's Mercedes and BMW may have used market committee meetings to fix the size of tanks for AdBlue, a liquid utilized to deal with nitrogen oxide in diesel emissions.

"It is not yet clear whether the European Commission will instigate formal proceedings". The EC said the searches were an early step in its investigation and did not mean that any of the companies it had inspected had been found guilty of anti-competitive behaviour. In its statement confirming the raids, Daimler emphasised that it had submitted an application for leniency with the Commission.

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