Volkswagen will hold a special supervisory board meeting on Wednesday to discuss allegations that German carmakers operated a wide-ranging cartel, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. Ciara Lee reports.
Accusations of a wide-ranging cartel - it's not a movie plot but the latest allegations to hit German carmakers. The European Commission says antitrust regulators are investigating following a tip-off. At stake is whether carmakers VW, Audi, Porsche, Mercedes and BMW used German auto industry committees to discuss pricing of components and technologies. And whether such talks constituted anti-competitive behaviour. VW will reportedly hold a special supervisory board meeting on Wednesday over the issue. German auto stocks took a hit in Monday trading, weighed down by the threat of possible fines. (SOUNDBITE) (ENGLISH) COMMERZBANK, GLOBAL FINANCIAL ECONOMIST, PETER DIXON SAYING: "Certainly they've come under serious pressure over the course of the last couple of sessions as a consequence of new revelations coming to light. Obviously the risks are to the downside." The car industry has been hit with billion-euro fines on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years. For cartels related to various parts such as lighting systems, engine coolers and bearings. The industry's record on exhaust emissions is also under scrutiny after VW admitted in 2015 to cheating U.S. diesel emissions tests. And investigations have shown many vehicles exceeding pollution limits.