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BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen fined by Germany for forming steel cartel

Germany’s cartel authority stated on Thursday it was fining the three major automakers of the nation – BMW, Volkswagen and Daimler – a total of 100 million euros for forming a cartel to purchase steel.

From 2004 to 2013, the automakers regularly met steelmakers and other firms in the supply chain to talk about uniform surcharges when purchasing steel, the cartel office stated.

Illegal costs resulting from the cartel were paid until at least 2016, it included.

The automakers accepted the fines.

BMW stated it would pay a penalty of about 28 million euros. Daimler will have to pay 23.5 million euros, a spokeswoman stated.

Volkswagen, Germany’s biggest automaker, refused to comment on the amount it would pay but welcomed the end of the cartel investigation and the legal clarity created.

The cartel office stated that purchasing costs for long steel products – the steel type impacted by the cartel and which is used for crankshafts, gearwheels or steering rods – making up less than 1% of a vehicle’s final value.

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