Too soon to say when ThyssenKrupp probe will end - German cartel office

BERLIN Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:07pm EST

BERLIN Jan 21 (Reuters) - It is too soon to say when an anti-trust probe of ThyssenKrupp will end as the case, involving allegations of price fixing for steel supplied to the car industry, is still being evaluated, the chief of Germany's cartel office said.

The offices of ThyssenKrupp's Steel Europe unit in Duisburg were raided in February last year over what the company said were allegations of anticompetitive agreements between market participants relating to specific steel supplies to the automotive industry.

It said at the time it would actively support the authorities with the investigation.

"I currently can't say when it will be concluded," Andreas Mundt, the president of the country's cartel authorities, told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday.

"Its one of these things with cartel cases, it depends completely on what you find out. We are still evaluating."

ThyssenKrupp Chief Executive Heinrich Hiesinger has expressed hopes that the probe may be concluded soon.

In connection with the same probe, the cartel authorities also searched the Munich offices of Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine's subsidiary, Voestalpine Deutschland.

ArcelorMittal, the world's largest steel producer, has also said it is co-operating with a cartel investigation on steel supplies to the automotive industry. (Reporting by Tom Kaeckenhoff; writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Anthony Barker)