The European Union has fined German automakers Volkswagen and BMW $1 billion for colluding to curb the use of emissions cleaning technology they had developed.
According to the EU’s executive commission, Audi, Porsche, and Daimler were also implicated in the conspiracy to limit competition on controlling emissions in gasoline and diesel passenger automobiles.
Despite its involvement in the conspiracy with the other corporations, Daimler was spared a sanction because it revealed the plans to the EU.
EU’s executive vice president of the European Commission for A Europe Fit for the Digital Age, Margrethe Vestager, said that these car manufacturers illegally colluded to restrict competition in the area of emission cleaning technology for diesel cars.
“This is the first time that the commission finds that cooperation on technical elements, as opposed to price-fixing or market sharing, amounts to cartel behavior,” she added.
Vestager said that these carmakers had possessed the technology to reduce harmful emissions more than required under EU law but avoided competing to do so.
“So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical cooperation went wrong. And we do not tolerate it when companies collude,” Vestager said.
Vestager also said that all parties had agreed to settle the case and “have acknowledged their role in this cartel.”
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