Daimler directors to meet over alleged German auto cartel - sources

FRANKFURT/HAMBURG, July 25 (Reuters) - Daimler's supervisory board will meet on Wednesday and seek answers about whether German carmakers were part of a club that was allegedly involved in anti-competitive behaviour, sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

European Union and German antitrust regulators are investigating whether BMW, VW, Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler held meetings to discuss suppliers, prices and standards to the disadvantage of foreign carmakers.

While carmaker associations commonly discuss how to implement new emissions standards and technologies, the question being probed by regulators is whether talks among the German manufacturers constituted anti-competitive behaviour.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Friday that German carmakers colluded to fix the prices of diesel emissions treatment systems using industry committees. Companies found guilty of breaching EU cartel rules face fines of as much as 10 percent of their global revenue.

These auto industry committees operated outside of the official industry association VDA, which counts foreign suppliers and foreign-owned carmakers like Opel among its members.

In a statement, VDA said compliance policies for members preclude anti-competitive behaviour, adding the issues being probed by regulators "relate to a format which was not part of the VDA and its work."

"A couple of months ago manufacturers approached VDA, to integrate further development, standard setting and norm setting activities into VDA," the association said, adding existing members were being consulted about how to deal with the matter. (Reporting by Ilona Wissenbach and Jan Schwartz; Writing by Edward Taylor; Editing by Mark Potter)