December 18, 2014 / 12:28 PM / 4 years ago

Daimler increases provision for EU cartel probe

A C-class by Daimler AG is pictured before the company's annual news conference in Stuttgart February 6, 2014. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s Daimler (DAIGn.DE) said on Thursday it was setting aside an additional 600 million euros ($740 million) to cover potential costs related to an antitrust investigation into truckmakers by the European Commission.

The maker of trucks and Mercedes cars said the move would affect its earnings this quarter but stuck with its forecast for 2014 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) from ongoing business to rise significantly from last year.

The Commission had said last month it had sent formal charge sheets to several manufacturers it suspected of price-fixing, stepping up a wide-ranging cartel investigation that could lead to heavy fines for some of the world’s biggest truckmakers.

The companies included Daimler, Volvo (VOLVb.ST) and Iveco parent CNH Industrial (CNHI.MI) as well as Volkswagen-controlled (VOWG_p.DE) Scania and MAN (MANG.DE).

Daimler did not say at the time how much it had earmarked to cover a possible fine and declined to say on Thursday how much money it had now set aside in total.

“We assume that we have made adequate risk provisions,” a spokesman for Daimler said.

The company said the decision to increase provisions was based on the documents on which the Commission had based its allegations and which it has had a chance to review after receiving the charge sheet last month.

Companies can be fined up to 10 percent of their annual revenue if the Commission concludes that there is sufficient evidence of an infringement of EU rules barring cartels and the abuse of market dominance.

Daimler said it was cooperating with the authorities but would also reviewing all of its procedural options in the case, without being more specific

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Keith Weir

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