Germany's three major automakers, the BMW Group, Daimler (parent of Mercedes-Benz) and the Volkswagen Group, have been fined a total of €100 million ($163 million) for forming a cartel to buy certain steel products.
The Bundeskartellamt, Germany's competition commission, says the three car companies met twice a year with steel makers between 2004 and 2013 to set uniform surcharges for the long steel they purchased. Illegally set prices were in use until 2016.
The long steel was use primarily for crankshafts, gears, steering rods and handle bars. According to the commission, long steel products account for under one per cent of the cost of a car.
All three car makers have "accepted the facts established" by the commission, and their co-operation has been factored into their penalties.
The competition commission is continuing to investigate price fixing within the German steel industry.
Meanwhile, the three German automakers are still under investigation by the European Commission for allegedly conspiring to not compete on emissions reduction technology.