* Daimler says is cooperating fully with probe
* Probe investigating ex-Merkel ally who joined Daimler
* Daimler says its executives acted correctly
(Adds background on the nature of the investigation)
FRANKFURT, Nov 8 Daimler executives
are under investigation for suspicion of "granting undue
advantage" to Eckart von Klaeden after Chancellor Angela
Merkel's former aide joined the carmaker as a lobbyist, the
Berlin prosecutor's office said on Friday.
"A probe into granting undue advantage is targeting
executives at Daimler," a spokesman for the Berlin prosecutor
Daimler said it would cooperate with authorities and said it
remained convinced that its executives acted correctly. The
company declined to elaborate further due to the ongoing
Germany's WirtschaftsWoche reported earlier that the probe
was targeted at Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche. Zetsche was not
immediately available to comment on Friday.
Klaeden, a former treasurer of Merkel's Christian Democrats
who spent the last four years in a senior chancellery role, said
in May that he would quit the government after Germany's Sept.
22 national elections to take up the position of chief political
lobbyist at Daimler. Klaeden was also not immediately available
German weekly magazine Der Spiegel, without citing any
source, reported on Sunday that Klaeden, who was known to have
met with Daimler representatives while still in politics, had
access to three confidential government papers between January
and May 2013 on the European Union's planned regulation of auto
Germany last month blocked an agreement among EU member
states to cap car emissions, arguing the plan would cost jobs
and hurt its premium carmakers BMW, Volkswagen's
Audi and Mercedes-Benz, a unit of Daimler.
A spokeswoman for the Berlin prosecutors said on Sunday they
had received an anonymous complaint filed against Klaeden.
"It's a completely normal procedure that prosecutors start
investigations because an anonymous complaint was filed,"
Stuttgart-based Daimler said in a statement on Friday. "We have
no doubts at all about the integrity of Mr. Klaeden."
(Reporting by Edward Taylor. Editing by Jane Merriman)