The German car maker BMW is being investigated by the Swiss competition commission (Comco) for possible unfair practices.
Comco says on its website that it launched its inquiry on Monday to determine whether the BMW group had violated competition laws by dividing up markets among its distributors.
It says it has received information that the group had forbidden its distribution partners in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the European Union and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – to sell new BMWs and Minis to customers resident in Switzerland.
A BMW spokesman confirmed to Reuters news agency on Tuesday that the investigation was taking place, but would give no further comment.
A Comco spokesman told the agency that the maximum fine that could be imposed was 10 per cent of BMW’s revenue in Switzerland over three years. The investigation was likely to take one to two years, he said.
Given the strength of the Swiss franc against the euro, buying a car in the EEA is currently cheaper than buying it in Switzerland.
swissinfo.ch and agencies