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Cartel fined for fixing price of Volkswagens

The seven cartel members had fixed the prices of new Volkswagen cars for years Keystone / Filip Singer

A group of Volkswagen dealers in southern Switzerland has been fined CHF44 million ($46 million) by the Federal Competition Commission (Comco). The seven cartel members, including car importer AMAG, had fixed the prices of new Volkswagen cars for years.

“The car dealers colluded on all sales activities in Ticino. They made deals on public sector submissions, agreed on a pricing policy for the sale of new cars to private individuals, and divided canton Ticino into areas of activity,” Comco said in a statementExternal link on Thursday. The cartel offences took place between 2006 and 2018.

AMAG, Switzerland’s largest car dealership, and six car dealers for VW brands – Autoronchetti Sagl, Garage Karpf & Co./Garage 3 Valli, Garage Carrozzeria Maffeis, Garage Nessi, Garage Weber-Monaco and Tognetti Auto – were involved, Comco said.

“Their aim was to reduce competition among car dealers and to keep the sales prices of new vehicles for private individuals and the public sector at an excessive level,” it said.

AMAG accepted the fine and said in a statement that it had cooperated with the authorities to clarify the incidents. AMAG boss Mathias Gabler apologised and admitted that the company “had previously not always behaved legally and ethically in Ticino”. The company “had taken personnel and organisational measures” as a result of the incidents, he said.

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