Exclusive Report: Cartel Office Investigates German Car Companies, Including VW and Daimler

The cartel office is investigating whether carmakers Daimler and VW and car parts suppliers Bosch and ZF held illegal talks about procurement and has already searched company offices, regional German newspaper Schwäbische Zeitung, reported Tuesday, citing the Federal Cartel Office. The investigation addresses whether VW, Daimler, Bosch, ZF and two other car industry firms made illegal agreements when purchasing steel, the paper reported, citing a spokesman of Germany’s Federal Cartel Office. In June, some company offices were searched in connection with the investigation. Spokespeople from Daimler, VW, Bosch and ZF confirmed the investigations to the paper, saying the companies were fully cooperating. The spokespeople did not provide further details, referring to ongoing investigations. Daimler’s shares were down 2.5 percent by 10:26 a.m. in Frankfurt, making them the fourth-largest decliner in the German blue-chip DAX Index. VW’s preference stock and BMW’s shares lost 2.4 percent each. Bosch and ZF are privately-owned companies. E.U. competition law forbids talks among providers and buyers of goods and services, to prevent price manipulation. If the companies are found to have held illegal talks, they would face high fines. Picture source: Daimler