July 23, 2013 / 11:24 AM / 5 years ago

CORRECTED-UPDATE 1-ThyssenKrupp, Voestalpine draw more rail cartel fines

(Corrects to show that Vossloh’s statement on Tuesday referred to an unrelated legal dispute)

* German regulator imposes fresh fines on eight companies

* Additional fines total 98 million euros

* ThyssenKrupp, Voestalpine says existing provisions sufficient

* Vossloh cuts outlook, shares fall 9 percent

FRANKFURT, July 23 (Reuters) - Germany’s anti-trust regulator is imposing an additional 98 million euros ($129 million) in fines on eight companies including steelmaker ThyssenKrupp and Austria’s Voestalpine in a rail cartel case.

The companies fixed prices for train track rails, switches and sleepers and agreed not to compete for customers between 2001 and 2011, the Federal Cartel Office said on Tuesday.

“The aim of the agreements was to divide up tenders or projects among the members of the cartel, it said.

ThyssenKrupp and Voestalpine account for the bulk of the fines, with 88 million and 6.4 million euros, respectively. Both said money they had already set aside for the cartel investigation would be enough to cover the additional fines.

The fines come on top of a combined 134.5 million euros the regulator has already demanded from five companies - ThyssenKrupp, two units of Voestalpine, Vossloh and Moravia Steel - for price-fixing to the detriment of German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn.

One of the companies involved in the case, German rail technology group Vossloh, slashed its 2013 forecast on Tuesday due to provisions for an unrelated damages lawsuit, driving its shares down 9.3 percent by 1124 GMT. ThyssenKrupp was up 0.9 percent and Voestalpine 0.5 percent.

Negotiations are continuing between ThyssenKrupp and Deutsche Bahn, which in December filed a total of 550 million euros in damages claims against track suppliers.

“ThyssenKrupp is continuing to conduct constructive talks with Deutsche Bahn on this matter,” ThyssenKrupp said on Tuesday, saying the two sides were still analysing the details of what damages were involved and who was responsible.

Once that has been completed ThyssenKrupp should be able to make a formal response to Deutsche Bahn’s claims later this year.

Voestalpine has already agreed a settlement with Deutsche Bahn, for less than 100 million euros.

Vossloh said earlier on Tuesday it now expected its 2013 operating profit to come in well below the year-earlier figure because it has to take additional provisions related to damages claimed in a separate lawsuit. ($1=0.7580 euros) (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Anneli Palmen and Tom Kaeckenhoff; Editing by Patrick Graham)

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