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BMW: EU antitrust officials searched Munich office in cartel probe

Europe
20.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin/Brussels (dpa) - Luxury German carmaker BMW has confirmed that European competition officials searched its headquarters in Munich this week as part of a probe into a cartel operated by Germany‘s top auto groups since the 1990‘s.

The European Commission said Friday that anti-trust officials had "carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of a car manufacturer in Germany." The statement did not identify the company.

The commission‘s action followed German media reports in July that BMW along with Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche and Daimler had been members of a secret cartel since the 1990s that discussed emission controls and standards.

The revelations about the cartel came at the German car industry attempted to restore public trust after VW admitted just over two years ago to cheating on diesel emissions tests around the world.

"The inspection is related to commission concerns that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices," the commission‘s statement said.

The EU officials were accompanied by their German counterparts from the national competition authority.

"Inspections are a preliminary step in investigations of suspected anti-competitive practices," the commission said.

"The fact that the commission carries out inspections does not mean that the inspected companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour, nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself," it said.

 

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