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Lower EU Fines Over Emissions Collusion Likely For BMW And VW: Reports

Lower EU Fines Over Emissions Collusion Likely For BMW And VW: Reports
It is likely that a reduced antitrust fine for the German car makers BMW and Volkswagen will be settled for by the European Union over use of clean air technology. According to reports quoting sources familiar with the matter, this likelihood surfaced following the EU narrowing down the scope of an investigation.
This case in which the two companies are indicted is different from the diesel emissions cheating scandal that is being faced by Volkswagen which has resulted in the company facing fines, penalties and settlement charges of more than 31 billion euros ($38 billion).  
In 2019, the two German auto companies were indicted by the European Commission over charges that the companies had colluded together to try and prevent the launch of clean emissions technology. Reports quoting the sources said that it is likely that the Commission will issue the fines for the two companies before the summer break.
According to previous statement of the competition watchdog of the EU, the investigation involves the "circle of five" companies – which essentially refer to BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group's Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche brands.
According to the reports under the reduced scope of the investigations, the case against the companies will now only focus on selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems which reduce the amount of nitrogen oxides that is present in emissions from diesel cars through the injection of urea (also called AdBlue) in the exhaust gas stream.
Between 2006 and 2014, the German carmakers colluded to restrict the size of AdBlue tanks, the Commission had said in its 2019 charge sheet filed against the two companies.
Reports suggested that the previous allegations that were levelled against the group of car making companies included the companies getting together in trying to delay implementation of fitting new cleaner particulate filters for petrol cars from 2009 to 2014 – allegations that have now been scrapped by the EU competition regulators.
Apart from saying that the investigations are currently on going, no other comment from the Commission could be found in the reports.
There were also no comments available from BMW and Volkswagen on the issue.
Following the company estimating lower fines on the case by the EU, its antitrust provisions were cut down by 1 billion euros by BMW just last week.
While reiterating that it would not face any fine in this case, Daimler did not comment any further. The company was the one which played the whistle blower to the case by first alerting the Commission about the wrongdoing. 

Christopher J. Mitchell

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