European Raids Expand to Daimler and VW in Automotive Cartel Probe

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
european raids expand to daimler and vw in automotive cartel probe

Following an earlier raid at BMW, Daimler AG and Volkswagen Group were also searched by antitrust officials from the European Union Commission and German government this week. Despite claiming whistleblower status, Daimler is still subject to investigation — though it’s less likely to incur the same financial penalties if the collusion charges go to court.

Over the summer, investigators from the EU stated there would be an investigation into several German carmakers after allegations surfaced that companies conspired to fix prices on various automotive technologies over several decades. But it wasn’t until Monday that officials searched Daimler’s corporate offices and collected documents from Volkswagen’s headquarters in Wolfsburg and at Audi’s home base in Ingolstadt.

The EU Commission has continued to deny the release of specific details on its investigation, only saying it has “concerns that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules prohibiting cartels and restrictive business practices,” according to reports from Reuters. However, spokespeople from both Daimler and Volkswagen have confirmed the searches.

Potential examples of collusion include BMW, Volkswagen Group, and Mercedes-Benz purchasing the digital mapping company HERE and a joint venture to invest in thousands of charging sites across Europe to boost public acceptance of electric cars. Ford Motor Company is also a participant in the the charging network plan.

Distinguishing the difference between reasonable corporate cooperation and activities that violate antitrust laws will be the cornerstone of the European investigation. As of now, no company has been formally charged with any wrongdoing. However, if any are eventually found guilty of breaching EU guidelines, the automakers could face fines equalling 10 percent of their global revenue.

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2 of 5 comments
  • Redmondjp Redmondjp on Oct 24, 2017

    Same story, different country. No different than the US automakers of the past, where one of the Big 3 would announce prices first, followed by the second and third a week or two staggered after that, all coincidentally within a few % of each other, but of course higher than the year before. Wink wink!

  • Jakob Boman Jakob Boman on Oct 25, 2017

    It is sad, but I fear it they have done it. I'm looking forward to follow the development of the case...

  • Cprescott I blow on a pinwheel....
  • Jkross22 Looks good in and out, but pricing is nonsensical. Anyone spending in the low to upper 40s and wanting something like this would be better off in a Stelvio and anyone wanting a small, fun SUV would be better off in a Q3, X1 or even X3. All hover around that price.Dodge is getting high off its own supply.
  • Parkave231 If I were employed at Grand River, I'd be very worried right now...
  • ScarecrowRepair I can grok everything but 20 TV monitors. What earthly purpose do they serve? If the entire skin were screens, it could change like a chameleon. But they are just square blobs scattered all over. The rear ones can send messages to tailgators. The others?At least the two fake NOS bottles are car related. If it had cattle horns up front, at least that would relate to historical car bling.Makes me wonder how many other mods are just as useless, and how well any of them are done.
  • SPPPP Over USB, since I swapped out the battery pack for something a little more modern. Those early Tyco batteries just didn't last, and my range anxiety was unbearable. I could barely get from the picnic table to the swing set.