Germany’s cartel authority said it was fining BMW, Volkswagen Group and Daimler a total of 100 million euros for unlawful actions in relation to steel purchases. A report by DW says that from 2004 to 2013, the automakers regularly met steelmakers and other companies in the supply chain to discuss uniform surcharges when purchasing steel.
Germany’s competition watchdog, the Bundeskartellamt, says that unlawful prices resulting from the cartel were paid until at least 2016. BMW said it would pay a penalty amounting to 28 million euros. Daimler said it will have to pay 23.5 million euros. VW Group declined to comment on the amount it would pay.
The cartel office said that purchasing prices for long steel products, the steel type affected by the cartel, account for less than 1 percent of a car’s final value. Long steel is used for crankshafts, gearwheels and steering rods.
A separate investigation targeting several producers for “flat steel” price rigging is still ongoing. German media reports have suggested fines in that case could amount to €500 million.