The European Commission has requested information from several companies active in the automotive sector, without revealing their names.
EU antitrust regulators have searched several companies and industry associations in several EU countries, saying they may have breached the rules of the bloc’s cartel.
The European Commission said it had also sent requests for information to companies. He did not give any name.
“Inspections and requests for information relate to possible collusion in the collection, treatment and recovery of end-of-life cars and vans that are considered waste,” the EU competition officer said.
Companies found to be in breach of EU cartel rules face fines of up to 10% of overall turnover.
The European Commission wants to follow the rules
The UK Competition Authority, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), also said it had launched an investigation into alleged anti-competitive behavior related to the recycling of old vehicles, which involved a number of car manufacturers and some industry bodies.
The UK regulator explained that end-of-life vehicles (VSUs) should be scrapped at no cost to customers. Car manufacturers need to provide customers with this free recycling service, which they often outsource to third parties.
The CMA said it was working closely with the European Commission on the issue.
German carmaker BMW said it had received a request for information and added that it would respond to the request. For its part, rival Mercedes-Benz said it did not expect to be fined because it is cooperating with the European Commission and the UK competition authority.
Over the last decade, the European Commission has imposed fines totaling around € 2.2 billion on companies that have developed cartels in the aftermarket.