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EU fines BMW and Volkswagen Group €875 million

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BMW and the Volkswagen Group were fined EUR 875 million ($1 billion) by the EU Commission for hindering competition on emissions control systems for new diesel cars.

EU margrethe vestager
Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice President of the European Commission responsible for competition.

BMW was fined 372.8 million euros and Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche) 502.4 million euros. Also targeted, Daimler was finally exempted from fines.

Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president of the EU Commission responsible for competition policy, said in a statement that the five carmakers Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche had the technology to reduce harmful emissions beyond what was legally required.

Nevertheless, they have avoided competing with each other by not utilizing this technology adequately to clean beyond the legally required level,” she pointed out.

The vice president said, “Today’s decision is about how a legitimate business-to-business agreement went wrong. We are not going to tolerate it again.”

Volkswagen has considered appealing the decision, saying a sanction over technical discussions about emissions technology with other automakers sets a questionable precedent.

“The commission is entering uncharted territory,” the automaker said after its conviction.

“Moreover, it is imposing fines despite the fact that the talks were never followed through and no customers were harmed as a result,” Volkswagen added in a statement.

BMW accepted the fine and stressed that it had been cleared of suspicion of using illegal “defeat devices” to falsify emissions tests.

“This underlines that there was never any accusation of illegal manipulation of emission control systems aimed at the BMW group,” the Bavarian group said in a statement.

For MetaNews.

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