British watchdog probes truckers over alleged price-fixing

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A British watchdog said Thursday it had launched a probe into alleged price-fixing by major European truckmakers, resulting in the arrest of one person.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) issued a statement which said it was "investigating suspected cartel activity involving commercial vehicle manufacturers in the UK."

It added that investigations were at an early stage and had yet to conclude whether laws had been broken.

An OFT spokeswoman also confirmed newspapers reports that British offices of Mercedes-Benz had been raided earlier this week.

She added that one person had been arrested and released on bail, although it was not clear whether they worked for Mercedes, which is owned by Germany auto giant Daimler.

German truckmaker MAN has meanwhile been asked to provide the OFT with information regarding the probe, a spokesmen for the group told AFP.

The Financial Times additionally reported that the OFT had also requested information from Swedish truck manufacturer Scania as well as from Iveco, which is owned by Italy's Fiat.

Companies involved in British price-fixing can be fined up to 10 percent of their annual turnover, while executives face prison sentences, according to the FT.

© 2010 AFP

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