EU probes BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen over emissions collusion
Brussels : The European Commission launched a probe on Tuesday to determine whether major car manufacturers BMW, Daimler and the Volkswagen group colluded in breaching the European Union (EU) antitrust regulations to avoid carbon emission restrictions imposed by the bloc.
The investigation started in October 2017 and has since intensified due to possible evidence of agreements between the "circle of five" (the Volkswagen group also owns Audi and Porsche) to hinder the rolling out of clean technologies in the sector, Efe news reported.
"The Commission is investigating whether BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen agreed not to compete against each other on the development and roll-out of important systems to reduce harmful emissions from petrol and diesel passenger cars," Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said.
"These technologies aim at making passenger cars less damaging to the environment. If proven, this collusion may have denied consumers the opportunity to buy less polluting cars, despite the technology being available to the manufacturers," she added.
The Commission said that EU antitrust rules ban cartels and restrictive business practices, including deals to limit or control technical development.
The enquiry aims to establish whether the meetings that took place between the "circle of five" indeed resulted in illegal activity breaching EU antitrust laws.