German cartel authorities receive more documents from VW: Der Spiegel

FILE PHOTO: A Volkswagen (VW) logo is seen on a car's front at a scrapyard in Fuerstenfeldbruck, Germany, May 21, 2016. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German cartel authorities received documents from Volkswagen VOWG_p.DE, citing examples of possible collusion between Germany's top carmakers and auto supplier Bosch, German magazine Der Spiegel said in its online edition.

European Union and German antitrust regulators are investigating whether VW VOWG_p.DE, Porsche, Audi NSUG.DE. BMW BMWG.DE and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler DAIGn.DE held meetings to discuss suppliers, prices and standards to the disadvantage of foreign carmakers.

The documents, received this week, are the seventh submission of documents about alleged anti-competitive behavior received by antitrust authorities since June 2016, Der Spiegel said.

Bosch is alleged to have helped carmakers to devise a “dosage” strategy to help carmakers limit the consumption of AdBlue diesel emissions filtering fluid, Der Spiegel said on its web site on Friday.

Auto supplier Bosch said: “All we know about this matter so far is what we have read or heard in the media. We have had no inquiries relating to it whatsoever from German or European antitrust authorities. As we have no details about the matters under investigation, we cannot comment on them.”

Discussions between suppliers and carmakers about how to implement new technologies or anti-pollution measures are not unusual or illegal, unless such discussions take place with the purpose of putting competitors at a disadvantage.

A person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday that Daimler first raised the issue of collusion with cartel authorities, a move that could earn it immunity.

Volkswagen was not immediately available for comment.

Reporting by Jan Schwartz; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Keith Weir