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      10-20-2017, 02:44 PM   #1
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BMW raided by EU Antitrust while Benz granted immunity

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The hits keep on coming for the Germans.

Via Reuters

October 20, 2017

BMW raided in cartel investigation as Daimler claims immunity

MUNICH/BRUSSELS (Reuters) - BMW’s (BMWG.DE) headquarters were raided by European Union officials investigating an alleged cartel among German carmakers, it said on Friday, as rival Daimler (DAIGn.DE) claimed whistleblower status in an effort to avoid fines.

EU staff had “conducted an inspection” at BMW’s Munich offices this week, the premium carmaker said in a statement, adding that it is “assisting the European Commission in its work”.

The EU’s Brussels executive said its antitrust officials had swooped unannounced on “a carmaker in Germany” on Monday Oct. 16 in the first confirmed raid related to allegations that several German automakers had engaged in an illegal cartel.

The competition watchdog said in July that it was investigating collusion among German carmakers in response to a tip-off after Der Spiegel magazine reported that Daimler, BMW, Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) and its Audi and Porsche arms conspired to fix prices in diesel and other technologies over decades.

“The BMW Group wishes to make clear the distinction between potential violations of antitrust law on the one hand and illegal manipulation of exhaust gas treatment on the other,” the company said. “The BMW Group has not been accused of the latter.”

Brussels has yet to initiate formal antitrust proceedings against any of the carmakers.

However, the allegations have begun to spawn U.S. lawsuits, adding to strains on an industry already struggling with the reputational fallout from widespread diesel emissions-test manipulation exposed in the wake of VW’s dieselgate scandal.

Daimler said on Friday that it had “filed an application for immunity from fines with the European Commission some time ago”, effectively claiming to have blown the whistle on what Chief Financial Officer Bodo Uebber described as “possible antitrust agreements” with rival manufacturers.

Daimler sees no need to set aside any funds for possible antitrust fines, Uebber added.

To gain immunity, the EU’s antitrust website says, a company that participated in a cartel must be the first to inform the Commission of an undetected cartel by providing sufficient information to justify inspections.

The Commission has declined to identify the original source of the tip-off, saying this is to avoid compromising its investigation.

“Daimler is cooperating with the Commission under its leniency programme,” an EU representative said on Friday.

Volkswagen could also benefit from leniency after sharing information, according to earlier reports. Even after an initial alert, other cartel participants can reduce EU fines -- by up to 50 percent for the first to step forward with material evidence.

VW offices have not been subject to EU raids in relation to the cartel investigation, a spokesman for the Wolfsburg-based car giant said on Friday, declining further comment.
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      10-20-2017, 06:09 PM   #2
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So basically Daimler and VW cooperated to throw BMW under the bus? Brutal. Looks like BMW is going to need an injection of funds to pay the potential fines. How about reintroducing MSDs?
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      10-20-2017, 09:55 PM   #3
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so...this somehow gets me a heavily discounted i8, right?
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      10-20-2017, 10:00 PM   #4
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The EU officials in Brussels have nothing better to do. How many croissant and espressos can you drink doing nothing the entire work week before you pick on something. Let them investigate and drive some F80s around while investigating.
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      10-20-2017, 10:01 PM   #5
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No wonder all the tech in german cars has started to look all the same. Here in Chicago there is a tech office thats run by Audi, BMW, and Benz. Definitely collusion going on.

Additionally, Car makers no longer have any power, they gave it all to suppliers. Nowadays Magna Steyr does all the car manufacturing, just as Foxconn makes Galaxy phones, iPhones, Xbox, Playstation.

No uniqueness at BMW anymore. Their management team should read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter...orces_analysis Probably forgot it from their business school days.
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      10-20-2017, 10:06 PM   #6
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We knew this was going to happen soon or later. The "German automaker cartel" history is quite old. But not so sure that the EU will find any evidence to acuse BMW or any other.
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      10-20-2017, 10:14 PM   #7
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Typical. the endless pursuit of growth leads to the most aggressive and sometimes unethical cutting of costs.
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      10-20-2017, 11:17 PM   #8
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When you produce uninspiring cars it makes sense to go find dirt and snitch on your competitor.
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      10-20-2017, 11:57 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BorisBulldog View Post
When you produce uninspiring cars it makes sense to go find dirt and snitch on your competitor.
You talking about BMW?
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      10-21-2017, 12:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spritztour View Post
The EU officials in Brussels have nothing better to do. How many croissant and espressos can you drink doing nothing the entire work week before you pick on something. Let them investigate and drive some F80s around while investigating.
The EU is a busted flush. Beaurocrats, inefficiency, indecisive.

That's why on 29.03.2019 we're leaving
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      10-21-2017, 12:40 AM   #11
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What redeeming qualities does this company have left?

In a span of only 10 years they have gone from being the poster child of how a car company should be, to this shady nonsense.

To me the moment bmws online reps felt free enough to deal in online racism I knew the company had become rotten to the core.

Collusion is a given. We shall see if regulators in Europe have teeth like many of our regulators have historically had. If so, expect to see more dirt in the future.

I for one am hoping for the worst possible outcome. It's the only way to force out all these rotten suits that fill up the entire corporate structure. Anyone with any principle has long left. The only hope is a top down fresh start. If they continue as they are, bmws will all be rebadged corollas at some point.
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      10-21-2017, 03:07 AM   #12
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You see this in many many corporations that get too big and start believing their own propaganda. You can tell things are not right in this company by the way they spin all their press releases and plough on with boring design despite continuous feedback that the product is just become boring
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      10-21-2017, 04:25 AM   #13
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I await the customer compensation
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      10-21-2017, 04:42 AM   #14
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Wow amazing to see the amount of conclusions the keyboard warriors in here have drawn already...
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      10-21-2017, 04:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobb View Post
The EU is a busted flush. Beaurocrats, inefficiency, indecisive.

That's why on 29.03.2019 we're leaving
That's why we never joined
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      10-21-2017, 05:28 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustChris View Post
I await the customer compensation
There won't be any costumer compensation (unless they are also found guilty of meddling with NOx emissions in their diesels, but as far as I know, they were proven innocent).

If it's true, I do hope the EU strikes down on them hard. Such cartel business is bad for costumers and suppliers of such companies (which often suffer the most). It's only stupid that Daimler is going to get away with it without reprecussions and that they are going to go lenient on VW. I mean why go lenient on VW?

I mean if Daimler bosses just found out about this collusion then it's ok, but if they had a change of heart it's somewhat stupid (maybe they got what they wanted and now feel they would be better off alone).

Last edited by Majec9-7; 10-21-2017 at 05:29 AM. Reason: forgot about VW
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      10-21-2017, 05:39 AM   #17
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Wow amazing to see the amount of conclusions the keyboard warriors in here have drawn already...
Or could some of it just be light hearted banter
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      10-21-2017, 05:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Majec9-7 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustChris View Post
I await the customer compensation
There won't be any costumer compensation (unless they are also found guilty of meddling with NOx emissions in their diesels, but as far as I know, they were proven innocent).

If it's true, I do hope the EU strikes down on them hard. Such cartel business is bad for costumers and suppliers of such companies (which often suffer the most). It's only stupid that Daimler is going to get away with it without reprecussions and that they are going to go lenient on VW. I mean why go lenient on VW?

I mean if Daimler bosses just found out about this collusion then it's ok, but if they had a change of heart it's somewhat stupid (maybe they got what they wanted and now feel they would be better off alone).
Yes, I wasn't really being serious and expecting anything in the way of compensation.
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      10-21-2017, 06:04 AM   #19
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Cynicism and Negativity Abound !

I cannot believe the amount of anti BMW sentiment in what is supposed to be a BMW fan site. Amazing how I never cease to be amazed by the toxic nature of Human emotions.
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      10-21-2017, 06:05 AM   #20
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A Martian may reach the conclusion that a "cartel" is a regional organisation that allows to offer much better cars at a slightly higher price...

...and that the masters of that region somehow wish to prevent that the Kias, Toyotas, GMs and other non-regional producers be unduly outclassed by it.
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      10-21-2017, 06:10 AM   #21
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Hopefully they didn’t put anything in writing...its supposed to be all verbal over beer and sausages.
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      10-21-2017, 06:19 AM   #22
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spritztour View Post
The EU officials in Brussels have nothing better to do. How many croissant and espressos can you drink doing nothing the entire work week before you pick on something. Let them investigate and drive some F80s around while investigating.
The EU is a busted flush. Beaurocrats, inefficiency, indecisive.

That's why on 29.03.2019 we're leaving
Good luck with that
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