By Mauro Orru

 

The European Union has imposed a fine of 875.19 million euros ($1.03 billion) on Volkswagen AG and BMW AG for restricting competition in emission cleaning for new diesel passenger cars.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, said Thursday that Daimler AG, BMW and Volkswagen, which owns Audi and Porsche, colluded on the technical development in the area of nitrogen oxide cleaning, breaching EU antitrust rules.

However, Daimler eluded the fine since it revealed the existence of the cartel to the commission.

"The five car manufacturers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche possessed the technology to reduce harmful emissions beyond what was legally required under EU emission standards. But they avoided to compete on using this technology's full potential to clean better than what is required by law," Executive Vice-President of the Commission Margrethe Vestager said.

All car makers acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case.

BMW said in a statement that the EU's investigation only concerned possible infringements of competition law, with no indication of collusion relating to the use of prohibited defeat devices to manipulate exhaust gas tests.

"This underlines that there has never been any allegation of unlawful manipulation of emission control systems by the BMW Group," the company said.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 08, 2021 05:37 ET (09:37 GMT)

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