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Statement on European Commission’s ongoing antitrust proceedings

Talks in working groups aimed at technological freedom of choice and the practicability of legally required reduction of exhaust gas emissions

On 5 April 2019, the BMW Group received a so-called “statement of objections” from the European Commission in connection with the ongoing antitrust proceedings. The statement relates to the investigation into talks held by working groups of German automobile manufacturers a number of years ago and includes a provisional competitive assessment by the EU Competition Authority.

On 5 April 2019, the BMW Group received a so-called “statement of objections” from the European Commission in connection with the ongoing antitrust proceedings. The statement relates to the investigation into talks held by working groups of German automobile manufacturers a number of years ago and includes a provisional competitive assessment by the EU Competition Authority.

The BMW Group will examine the objections and information provided by the European Commission and submit a reply to the authority. Since this matter concerns ongoing proceedings of the European Commission, the company will not comment on the content of the objections at this time. The BMW Group’s review of the statement of objections and any resulting potential financial impact is ongoing.

The BMW Group regards these proceedings as an attempt to equate permissible coordination of industry positions regarding the regulatory framework with unlawful cartel agreements.

No price or territorial agreements to the detriment of customers or suppliers

Based on current knowledge, the Commission is specifically investigating whether German automobile manufacturers cooperated in technical working groups to restrict competition in development and rollout of emission-reduction technologies. From the BMW Group’s point of view, this situation cannot be compared with cartel investigations involving territorial and price agreements, for example.

Fundamentally, the participating engineers from the manufacturers’ development departments were concerned with improving exhaust gas treatment technologies.

Unlike cartel agreements, the whole industry was aware of these discussions – which did not involve any “secret agreements” and did not intend any detriment to customers or suppliers.

Please click here to view the full press release.

SOURCE: BMW Group

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