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— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on July 26, Wednesday.
The automotive industry accounts for about 20 percent of Germany's industry revenue and employs approximately 800,000 people.
That's how important the auto industry is for the German economy. But it might face billion euro fines if an allegation of collusion is proved to be true.
German news magazine, Der Spiegel, reported Friday that Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, Porsche and Daimler may have been engaged in an illegal cooperation. The major German carmakers are accused of using industry committee meetings to agree on costs, suppliers, technologies and even the prices of diesel emission treatment systems.
The Der Spiegel report also alleged that Daimler, BMW, as well Volkswagen and its two subsidiaries Audi and Porsche, colluded to use a cheaper, less effective emissions neutralizing design. Namely, the three carmakers allegedly agreed to use small AdBlue tanks. AdBlue is a liquid solution used to counteract a vehicle's emissions.
BMW rejected reports of emissions collusion while other carmakers have reportedly refused to comment on the claims.
Volkswagen said it would hold a special supervisory board meeting on Wednesday in order to discuss allegations of industry collusion, a source confirmed to CNBC via email.
Shares of the top three German carmakers dropped sharply in the previous session amid a possible breach of regulatory standards. Volkswagen extended losses on Tuesday, down about 1.3%, while BMW and Daimler rebouded a bit after the previous losses.
EU antitrust officials confirmed Saturday they had started investigating allegations of a cartel among a group of German carmakers.
The commission is the EU's top antitrust agency in the EU, ensuring fair business dealings in the European market. While it has the power to force firms to change the way they do business, antitrust officials can also fine companies as much as 10 percent of their global turnover.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting from Singapore