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German fines 3 Volkswagen suppliers for alleged collusion

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BERLIN (AP) — Germany's antitrust authority has fined three suppliers of Volkswagen AG a total of 9.6 million euros ($11 million) for allegedly colluding on how to pass on increasing raw material prices to the automaker.

The Federal Cartel Office said Thursday it imposed fines on Elring Klinger Abschirmtechnik of Switzerland, Estamp of Spain and German firm Lydall Gerhardi. A fourth company, Carcoustics International of Germany, wasn't fined because it helped expose the cartel.

The companies make aluminum heat shields used to insulate other parts of the vehicle against heat generated in the engine and exhaust.

The cartel office accuses them of colluding in 2011, exchanging sensitive information to strengthen their negotiating position against Volkswagen.

Settlements were reached with all three companies. The fines can be appealed.

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