First BMW HQ was raided. Now these guys get to join in on the fun.
We learned BMW’s Munich headquarters had been raided last Friday by EU antitrust officials for allegedly engaging in an illegal cartel. This was described as collusion among German carmakers in response to a tip-off after Der Spiegel magazine reported that Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen and its Audi and Porsche divisions had conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over decades. Automotive News reports those same antitrust officials have just raided Daimler and VW’s HQs in Stuttgart, and Wolfsburg and Ingolstadt, respectively.
What’s particularly interesting about this is that Daimler attempted to claim whistleblower status by filing an application for immunity from fines with the European Commission. Apparently that Commission isn’t buying what Daimler is trying to sell, hence the raid this past Monday. All three main German automakers claim they are cooperating with antitrust officials at this time, as investigators have already examined documents at their headquarters. What will they find? Who knows, but officials wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of raiding major corporations without cause for suspicion.
They’re after something and, sooner or later, they could wind up finding a smoking gun. If/when that happens, some individuals could be in serious legal trouble. We'll keep you posted once more details become available.