EU Is Probing Five Carmakers on Parts Collusion, Spiegel Says

(Bloomberg) -- The European Commission is investigating five carmakers including Renault SA and Peugeot-maker PSA Group for possible antitrust violations on car parts, German magazine Der Spiegel reports, without saying where it got the information.

Nissan Motor Co., Jaguar Land Rover Automotive Plc and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV are also being investigated, according to the report. The probe centers around whether the companies colluded to raise prices by as much as 25 percent on car parts, with the help of consulting firm Accenture. The commission’s investigation started in December, Spiegel said.

Spokespeople for Jaguar Land Rover, which is a unit of Tata Motors Ltd, PSA and Fiat Chrysler declined to comment, while representatives from Renault and Nissan could not be reached for immediate comment.

This would be the second large-scale investigation by the commission into European carmakers. The regulator opened a probe in September into whether Volkswagen AG, Daimler AG and BMW AG colluded on clean-emissions technology for cars.

The probes would come at a tough time for the manufacturers, who are already dealing with headwinds on a number of fronts including possible tariffs on U.S.-bound cars and the looming threat of a no-deal Brexit that would wreck havoc on their supply chains between the European Union and the U.K.

A European car parts investigation would also add to Renault and Nissan’s woes as the two companies deal with the fallout from the Nov. 19 arrest of their former chairman Carlos Ghosn, who is in prison in Tokyo awaiting trial for financial crimes.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.