Swiss watchdog probes car leasing firms for alleged price-fixing

ZURICH, July 15 Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:05am EDT

ZURICH, July 15 (Reuters) - Switzerland's antitrust regulator said it had searched the offices of various car leasing firms on suspicion of price-fixing.

"The Competition Commission has evidence that financing companies belonging to the manufacturers, so-called captive banks, exchanged sensitive information on leasing rates and thus fixed prices," the body said in a statement on Tuesday.

The firms discussed interest rates, conditions, commissions paid and other information, it said.

Automobile leasing makes for more than one-third of the 23.2 billion Swiss franc ($25.99 billion) leasing market, according to a study compiled by Swiss bank Credit Suisse.

($1 = 0.8925 Swiss Francs) (Reporting By Katharina Bart, editing by John Stonestreet)

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