EU fines BMW and Volkswagen € 875 million for cartel

The European Union imposed fines of 502 million euros on German carmaker Volkswagen and 373 million on BMW.

Patrik STOLLARZ AFP / File

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Brussels on Thursday (July 8) imposed fines of 502 million euros on the German car manufacturer Volkswagen and 373 million on its compatriot BMW for having restricted competition in the exhaust gas cleaning systems of diesel cars.


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The other large German manufacturer Daimler (Mercedes), which had participated in this agreement, but had revealed its existence, was not sanctioned.

By choosing to reveal the case, Daimler was granted full immunity, avoiding a fine of around 727 million euros.

These three groups " 

violated EU rules on anti-competitive practices by consulting on technical development in the field of cleaning nitrogen oxide emissions

 ," the Commission said in a statement.

►Also read: “Dieselgate”: record fine for the former Volkswagen boss

The case also concerns the two high-end brands Audi and Porsche, subsidiaries of Volkswagen.

It is not linked to the



, revealed in 2015, which had forced Volkswagen, the first European manufacturer, to recognize the rigging of its engines to circumvent anti-pollution standards.

Regular meetings

Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler (Mercedes) “ 

have met regularly at technical meetings to discuss the development of Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, which eliminates harmful nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from gases exhaust of cars with diesel engines by the injection of urea (also called "AdBlue")

 ”, explained the European executive. " 

During these meetings, and for more than five years, the car manufacturers have worked together 

" in order not to clean up more than the regulations required.

These groups “ 

had the technology to reduce harmful emissions beyond what was legally required by EU emission standards.

But they avoided competing with each other by not using the full potential of this technology to go further than the legally prescribed level of purification 

, ”said Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at a conference. hurry.

Total fine of € 875 million to @ BMW @ Porsche @AudiOfficial @VW @Daimler for illegally colluding to restrict competition on emission cleaning technology for diesel cars.

There are legitimate pro-competitive reasons to cooperate, but this went wrong!


- Margrethe Vestager (@vestager) July 8, 2021





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