EU Charges BMW, Mercedes, VW with Colluding on Emissions Technology

By Paul Riegler on 7 April 2019
  • Share

The European Commission said Friday that BMW, Mercedes parent Daimler-Benz, and Volkswagen breached antitrust rules and colluded to restrict the development of pollution controls for petrol- and diesel-powered automobiles.

In the period from 2006 to 2014, the three companies, including VW’s Audi and Porsche marques, violated antitrust laws and contributed to poor air quality in Europe’s traffic-clogged cities.

The three limited the development and release of emission-cleaning technology for new passenger called sold in the European Economic Area, the commission said, adding that the collusion occurred under the aegis of the automaker’s so-called “circle of five” technical meetings.

The companies’ actions violate EU completion rules that prohibit carte agreements that would control production, markets, or technical development.

“We are concerned that this is what happened in this case and that Daimler, VW and BMW may have broken EU competition rules,“ said Commissioner Margarethe Vestager in a statement. “As a result, European consumers may have been denied the opportunity to buy cars with the best available technology.”

BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen now have the opportunity to respond to the Commission’s charges.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)