Shares in big German car firms dropped this morning, after news emerged that EU antitrust officials had started investigating a possible breach of regulatory standards.
Volkswagen, BMW and Daimler all dipped in early trading, with BMW falling more than two per cent and VW and Daimler down three per cent.
EU antitrust officials confirmed over the weekend that they had started investigating allegations of a cartel among a group of German carmakers.
"While the investigation hangs over the industry, investors will be wary of those stocks as European carmakers have been hit with hefty fines in recent years," said David Madden, market analyst at CMC Markets.
On Friday, Germany's Der Spiegel said VW, its Audi and Porsche brands and BMW may have colluded to fix the prices of diesel emissions treatment systems using industry committees.
In a statement, the European Commission, said:
The European Commission and the Bundeskartellamt (German cartel office) have received information on this matter, which is currently being assessed by the commission. It is premature to speculate further.
On Sunday, BMW denied the allegations.
The car industry has been bruised by hefty fines on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years over cartels relating to parts such as engine coolers and car lights.
In June, the European Union said it had fined car lighting system producers Automotive Lighting and Hella €27m for operating a cartel with Valeo, which wasn't fined.