February 7, 2018 / 8:16 AM / 3 months ago

France to proceed with anti-trust probe involving Electrolux, Bosch

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - French competition authorities will give more details in March of alleged breaches of anti-trust rules by home appliances makers including Sweden’s Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) and Germany’s Bosch in 2006 to 2009, Electrolux said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: The Electrolux logo is seen during the IFA Electronics show in Berlin, Germany September 4, 2014. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/File Photo

In a statement, the Swedish company said it could not rule out that the outcome of the long-running probe might have a material impact on results and cash flow. It had previously said it had become the subject of an investigation in France in 2013.

Shares in Electrolux fell 0.4 percent by 1135 GMT to trade at 261.80 crowns.

“We are now waiting for the formal statement. When we get that, we will analyze it, but right now there is not much more we can say,” said a spokeswoman at Electrolux, a rival of U.S. maker Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N).

Electrolux and Bosch’s ROBG.UL fully-owned subsidiary BSH both said they were cooperating with the French authorities.

The Swedish company said a so-called statement of objections would be issued in March alleging that Electrolux and other appliance makers coordinated their prices of large domestic appliances in France.

The statement of objection would inform the parties of the authorities’ preliminary conclusions, but will not prejudge the final outcome of the case.

BSH, which makes washing machines under the Bosch and Siemens brands, confirmed it was part of the probe but declined to give comment further.

Electrolux’ business in France represented around 3 percent of the group’s total sales of around 121 billion crowns ($15.2 billion) in 2016. BSH had total revenues of 13.1 billion euros ($16.2 billion) the same year.

($1 = 7.9803 Swedish crowns)

($1 = 0.8100 euros)

    Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Additional reporting by Ilona Wissenbach and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Niklas Pollard and Catherine Evans

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