Global carmakers raided by EU; UK also announces probe

BRUSSELS, March 15 (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators on Tuesday raided numerous automotive firms and associations in quite a few countries on suspicion of breaching the bloc’s cartel procedures, while Britain’s level of competition authority also launched a probe.

The European Commission also sent firms requests for data, it reported devoid of disclosing company names.

“The inspections and requests for data worry feasible collusion in relation to the assortment, treatment method and restoration of finish-of-daily life autos and vans which are deemed squander,” the EU competitors enforcer claimed in a assertion.

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Renault (RENA.PA) stated it “confirms that it was visited these days by European Fee investigators” and that it was cooperating fully.

Opel, a model of environment No. 4 carmaker Stellantis (STLA.MI), said its places of work had been searched by investigators.

“The topic of investigation is the place of recycling close-of-everyday living motor vehicles,” Opel reported in a assertion. “Of study course, we cooperate entirely with the authorities.”

German carmaker BMW stated it had gained a request for facts and would respond.

Mercedes Benz (MBGn.DE) said it did not assume to be fined due to the fact it had approached the EU regulator and Britain’s Opposition and Marketplaces Authority with details as a “leniency applicant.”

The CMA mentioned it was investigating a variety of unnamed automakers and some sector bodies in its personal conclusion-of-lifestyle vehicle probe, and that it was cooperating with the Commission. examine additional
Ford (F.N) explained in a statement that it experienced been served with a observe by CMA “relating to the recycling of old or prepared-off automobiles, precisely cars and vans, also identified as conclusion-of-daily life vehicles”.

“Provided the circumstance is ongoing it would be inappropriate for us to say much more at this phase other than to point out that we will completely cooperate with the CMA’s evaluate,” the U.S. carmaker reported.

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and its top quality brand Audi both declined to comment. A spokesman for Ferrari (RACE.MI)reported the carmaker had not been raided by investigators.

Firms located breaching EU cartel rules experience fines up to 10% of their world-wide turnover.

The Fee has in the past ten years issued fines totalling about 2.2 billion euros ($2.4 billion) towards vehicle areas cartels dealing in goods ranging from brakes to wire harnesses, seat belts and air luggage.

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Reporting by Foo Yun Chee
Additional reporting by Christina Amann and Ilona Wissenbach in Frankfurt, Ben Klayman in Detroit, Gilles Guillaume in Paris, Giulio Piovaccari in Milan and Nick Carey in London
Modifying by David Goodman and Tim Ahmann

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Rely on Concepts.