Storm clouds are gathering again over Germany’s biggest industry.
Antitrust officials confirmed Saturday that they are investigating claims that the country’s major carmakers may have been operating a cartel since the 1990s, colluding on everything from vehicle development and engines, to suppliers and diesel emissions systems.
“The European Commission and the Bundeskartellamt [German cartel office] have received information on this matter, which is currently being assessed by the commission,” the European Commission said in a statement. “It is premature at this stage to speculate further.”
The automotive industry accounts for about 20% of total industry revenue in Germany, and employs about 800,000 people in the country. The commission is the top antitrust agency in the European Union, responsible for working with national authorities to ensure that business plays fair in the European market, which spans 500 million people.
It has the power to fine companies billions of euros and force them to change the way they do business.
To read more of the original article go to CNN Money.