Daimler sues SKF in wake of EU competition settlement

Daimler AG sign is pictured at the IAA truck show in Hanover, Germany, September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Sweden's SKF SKFb.ST said on Tuesday it was being sued by German automaker Daimler AG DAIGn.DE in the wake of a 2014 EU settlement for violations of competition rules in the European bearings industry.

European Union antitrust regulators in March 2014 fined SKF and several other suppliers a total of 953 million euros ($1.08 billion) for taking part in a ball bearings cartel.

The settlement left European carmakers eyeing possible legal action. In November last year, SKF said German automaker BMW BMWG.DE had opened a lawsuit against the Swedish company and other bearings makers.

“Daimler requests payment from SKF in the amount of at least EUR 59 million plus interest and reimbursement of costs,” SKF said in a statement.

“SKF strongly believes that the activities sanctioned by the European Commission have not caused any damage to its business partners.”

SKF, whose shares eased 0.9 percent versus a 0.5 percent decline in the Stockholm bourse's blue chip index .OMXS30, said Daimler had filed the lawsuit with Landgericht Nurnberg-Furth in Germany.

Reporting by Niklas Pollard and Johan Ahlander, editing by Louise Heavens