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Fri Sep 6, 2019, 12:18 PM

U.S. launches antitrust probe into California automaker agreement

Source: Reuters

ENVIRONMENT SEPTEMBER 6, 2019 / 10:54 AM / UPDATED 27 MINUTES AGO

U.S. launches antitrust probe into California automaker agreement

David Shepardson
4 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the decision of four automakers in July to reach a voluntary agreement with California to adopt state emissions standards violated antitrust law, people briefed on the matter said on Friday.

The antitrust division has sent a letter to the automakers indicating the Justice Department had opened a preliminary inquiry, the people said, and comes as the Trump administration has ramped up its opposition to automakers seeking to sidestep it on rolling back Obama-era fuel efficiency rules.

In July, Ford Motor Co (F.N), BMW AG (BMWG.DE), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Honda Motor Co (7267.T) said they had reached a deal to adopt standards that were lower than Obama-era rules but higher than the Trump administrationís 2018 proposal.

In doing so, the automakers are defying the Trump administrationís effort to strip the state of the right to fight climate change by setting its own standards. Automakers fear years of legal battles and want to ensure certainty over the requirements they will face nationwide.

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Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-autos-emissions/u-s-launches-antitrust-probe-into-california-automaker-agreement-idUSKCN1VR1WG

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