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EU Fines Volkswagen, BMW $1B For Emissions Cartel

 |  July 8, 2021

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

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, stated Thursday, July 8, 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.

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 stated.