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Ford Waits Seven Months to Disclose Antitrust Raid
Automaker did not disclose European collusion probes in two prior quarterly SEC filings.
October 27, 2022
On the third to last page of its latest quarterly filing, Ford (F) inserted new language revealing antitrust watchdogs representing the European Commission (EU) and U.K. made unannounced inspections (of unnamed offices or plants) and demands for information. The inspections and requests for information— which Ford says also enveloped other auto sector firms— concern possible collusion in relation to the collection, treatment, and recovery of end-of-life cars and vans (ELVs).

The scope of the investigation, according to Ford, could result in penalties including fines or not being allowed to continue doing certain types of business in Europe:

“We understand that the scope of the investigations includes determining whether manufacturers and importers of passenger cars and vans agreed to an approach to (i) the compensation of ELV collection, treatment, and recovery companies, and (ii) the use of data relating to the recyclability or recoverability of ELVs in marketing materials, and whether such conduct violates relevant competition laws.”

The disclosure comes seven months after the inspections and requests for information occurred. Ford had at least two opportunities to disclose the matter much earlier. The inspections were conducted March 15, 2022, but not disclosed in two prior 10-Qs filed on April 28th and July 28th.
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