US: Justice Department launches antitrust probe into four auto makers

According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department has launched an antitrust investigation into four auto makers that forged an independent agreement with California on vehicle-emissions standards.

Justice Department lawyers are seeking to determine if Ford Motor Co., Honda Motor Co., BMW AG and Volkswagen AG violated federal competition law by agreeing with each other to follow tailpipe-emissions standards beyond those proposed by the Trump administration, according to people familiar with the situation.

Their deal was announced in collaboration with California air quality officials in July. Ford, Honda and BMW all confirmed the inquiry and said they plan to cooperate. A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment.

The new antitrust inquiry by the Justice Department stands to escalate tensions between Washington, Sacramento and the auto industry over plans by the Trump administration to roll back clean-air mandates on auto makers.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.