UPDATE 2-EU probes Leoni, other auto wiring suppliers

Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:42am EST

* Leoni shares down 4.13 pct at 1511 GMT

* Industry leader Robert Bosch, Valeo say not involved

* EU looking into possible anti-competitive behaviour

* FBI raided 3 Japanese car parts suppliers previous day

(Adds Valeo, updates shares)

MUNICH/BRUSSELS, Feb 25 (Reuters) - German car parts supplier Leoni (LEOGn.DE) and some of its rivals are being investigated by EU antitrust regulators for suspected price fixing and could be fined if found in breach of the rules.

The European Commission said on Thursday it had conducted raids in several EU countries the previous day against a number of companies that supply auto electrical distribution systems.

"The Commission has reason to believe that the companies concerned may have violated European Union antitrust rules that prohibit cartels and restrictive business practices," the European Union executive said in a statement.

The Commission did not identify the firms but said it was coordinating its investigation with other regulators worldwide.

The U.S. FBI on Wednesday said it had raided Denso Corp (6902.T) and Tokai Rika Co (6995.T), both affiliates of Japan's Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T), and privately held Yazaki Corp in the Detroit area for possible anti-competitive cartel behaviour.

"In connection with the international inquiry of the EU Commission there are also investigations (being carried out) at our company," a spokesman at Leoni said. Leoni shares were down 4.13 percent at 13.48 euros by 1511 GMT versus a 1.9 percent lower DJ Stoxx auto index .SXAP.

Robert Bosch [ROBG.UL], the world's biggest automotive parts supplier, and French peer Valeo (VLOF.PA) said they were not involved in the EU probe.

The Commission's investigation is focused on automotive electrical distribution systems, known as wire harnesses, which link a car's computers to the various mechanical parts of the vehicle.

The Commission, which can fine companies up to 10 percent of their revenues, has levied just over 10 billion euros ($13.5 billion) in penalties for infringement of EU cartel laws since 2004. (Reporting by Jens Hack in Munich, Luke Baker in Brussels, Helen Massy-Beresford in Paris; Writing by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Greg Mahlich and Dale Hudson)

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