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In September 2018, the European Commission opened an investigation into possible coordination between the car manufacturers Audi, BMW, Daimler, Volkswagen and Porsche (the so called “circle of five”) in relation to certain technical car features. 

Led by Heiner Lindenlaub, a team from NERA's Berlin office provided economic advice to BMW in its dealings with the European Commission.

After issuing a Statement of Objections in April 2019, the European Commission reduced the scope of its investigation and agreed with the car manufacturers on a settlement. This led to a fine of more than €1 billion below the amount originally provisioned by BMW.