The European Commission has fined BMW and Volkswagen €875m for breaking EU antitrust rules by colluding to prevent the deployment of clean emissions technology.
Daimler, which was also part of the cartel, escaped a fine because the German carmaker revealed the existence of the group, the commission said in a statement on Thursday.
All companies, including Audi and Porsche which are part of the Volkswagen group, acknowledged their involvement in the cartel and agreed to settle the case, said the executive body of the EU.
“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,” said Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s executive vice-president in charge of competition policy.
“So today’s decision is about how legitimate technical co-operation went wrong,” she said. “And we do not tolerate it when companies collude. It is illegal under EU Antitrust rules.”