German financial watchdog looking into VW-Daimler cartel
The German financial market supervisor (Bafin) indicated Monday having launched a formal investigation on Daimler and Volkswagen on a possible violation of the communication to investors rule, on suspicions of cartel forming.
“Bafin is investigating whether the obligation to inform the market has been respected by Volkswagen and Daimler following their alleged self-denunciation”, declared a Bafin spokesperson to the French news agency AFP. It isn’t interested in BMW so far, because it didn’t take part in the self-denunciation and denied.
Companies on the stock market have the obligation to inform via an “ad-hoc” release any information susceptible to have an effect on their share prices. Bafin is looking into VW and Daimler even if those two haven’t yet confirmed their denunciation to the concurrence authority.
This new investigation appears just as the European Commission launches its own investigation on the alleged cartel between the five big German car manufacturers. Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, BMW and Daimler allegedly had meetings and agreements on different matters such as antipollution devices.
Up to 5% of the revenue
Bafin considerably reinforced its penalty regime since July 2016. Costing some millions before, the current fine can today go up to 5% of the company’s revenues. For giants such as Volkswagen and Daimler, that could potentially represent billions. “We don’t know yet if the reported facts are attached to the old or new penalty regime”, hints Bafin spokesperson.