September 12, 2017 / 5:37 PM / 10 months ago

UPDATE 1-German cartel authorities investigate Austria's Voestalpine

(Adds detail, background)

VIENNA, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Austrian specialty steelmaker Voestalpine said Germany’s antitrust regulator raided its headquarters in Linz on Tuesday as part of an investigation into steel producers.

Germany’s competition watchdog last week widened its investigation into suspected violations of antitrust laws in the industry, with ArcelorMittal and Salzgitter confirming searches at some of their subsidiaries.

The investigation expands a cartel office inquiry already covering makers and sellers of stainless steel, car manufacturers and suppliers, as well as firms in the forging sector.

“The reason for the inspection is the suspicion of anti-competitive practices in the market for heavy plates,” Voestalpine said, adding that it took the allegations seriously and was supporting the authorities in their work.

A spokesman for Voestalpine said it could not provide further information at this point as it did not have any more details.

The Austrian company is involved in another investigation by German authorities into possible fixing of alloy surcharges, which dates back to November 2015.

Voestalpine was also one of four companies fined in 2012 for fixing the price of railway tracks in Germany. (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by David Clarke)

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