November 30, 2018 / 4:59 PM / 14 days ago

SKF settles last carmaker lawsuit over ball bearings cartel

The Daimler logo is seen before the Daimler annual shareholder meeting in Berlin, Germany, April 5, 2018. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - SKF (SKFb.ST) has reached a settlement with Daimler (DAIGn.DE) over the Swedish engineering group’s alleged participation in a ball bearings cartel, drawing a line under its disputes with automakers over this issue.

The world’s largest maker of industrial bearings was sued by three carmakers after European Union antitrust regulators in March 2014 fined it and other suppliers a total of 953 million euros ($1.1 billion) for taking part in a ball bearings cartel.

SKF said it had reached a confidential settlement with Daimler, having already resolved disputes with BMW (BMWG.DE) and France’s PSA Group (PEUP.PA).

Daimler had asked for a payment of at least 59 million euros plus interest and reimbursement of costs, but SKF had argued that the activities sanctioned by the European Commission had not caused any damage to its business partners.

SKF said on Friday the settlement would have an insignificant impact on its financial position and a spokesman said the settlement wasn’t more than the 59 million euros stated in Daimler’s original request.

A Daimler spokesman confirmed a settlement had been reached but declined to give details of the settlement or make any further comment.

“This settlement is not an admission of liability for damages but is made in order to enable SKF and Daimler to continue their longstanding commercial relationship,” SKF said.

Reporting by Esha Vaish in Stockholm; Editing by David Holmes

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