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South Korea Fines German Automakers For Collusion

 |  February 9, 2023

South Korea’s anti-trust regulator said on Thursday it would impose a combined fine of 42.3 billion won ($33.48 million) on three German automakers for colluding to curb emissions-cleaning technology for their diesel cars.

Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi were involved in collusion that reduced competition and restricted consumer choice, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) said in a statement.

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Mercedes-Benz was fined 20.7 billion won, BMW 15.7 billion won and Audi 6 billion won, the regulator said, adding that Volkswagen was not fined because it did not earn revenue relevant to the issue.

Mercedes-Benz said the company had cooperated fully with the KFTC and “will not have to pay any fine,” citing the outcome of a similar probe by the European Commission.

“The case related to the same set of facts which has been subject to the European Commission’s proceedings and where Mercedes-Benz acted as a leniency applicant and did not have to pay a fine,” a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson said in a statement.