On 25 March 2014, the European Commission announced that it had conducted dawn raids at the premises of a number of car exhaust companies, based in several EU Member States. A full list of the companies has not been released, however, French company Faurecia, US company Tenneco Inc. and German company Eberspächer confirmed that they had been raided. Reports have suggested that Tenneco Inc. has also received a sub poena from the US Department of Justice, Antitrust Division.
The raids appear to relate to suspicion that the companies may have violated EU rules on cartel activity and restrictive business practices. Faurecia, which is 52% owned by PSA Peugeot Citroen, has confirmed that it is fully cooperating with the Commission.
In a statement, the Commission emphasised that “the fact that the Commission carries out such inspections does not mean that the companies are guilty of anti-competitive behaviour nor does it prejudge the outcome of the investigation itself.”
As reported in an earlier blog, the car industry faces numerous antitrust investagations globally, with as many as 70 companies involved.