Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler together have to pay around 100 million euros for forming a prohibited steel cartel. The car manufacturers agreed a settlement with the German cartel watchdog Bundeskartellamt.
The three companies met twice a year between 2004 and 2013 with steel manufacturers, forges and suppliers to the steel sector. According to the regulator, they exchanged information about steel prices there. Because the talks were conducted jointly, and not one-on-one, there was no price competition, according to the Bundeskartellamt.
Steel is an important product for the automotive industry. On average, at least 900 kilos of steel is used in every car. The cartel negotiated the steel purchase required for car parts such as crankshafts and steering rods.
The car manufacturers acknowledged the facts of the case and cooperated in the investigation. The competition authority included this in the calculation of the fines. The amount of the fines is not definitive. The car manufacturers can still appeal.