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SKF, Schaeffler Raided in EU Probe of Ball-Bearings Makers

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- SKF AB and Schaeffler Group were raided by European Union regulators investigating possible price-fixing by ball-bearings manufacturers.

The European Commission said it made unannounced inspections at the premises of companies that produce bearings for automotive and industrial use over concerns that they may have violated antitrust rules. It didn’t name the companies.

SKF, the world’s largest ball-bearings maker, said in a statement that EU officials visited its facilities in Gothenburg, Sweden, and Schweinfurt, Germany. Schaeffler Group was also inspected, company spokesman Marcus Brans said in a phone interview. Both companies are cooperating with regulators.

Japan’s antitrust agency is probing price-fixing among ball-bearings manufacturers, companies including Jtekt Corp. and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. said in July. EU regulators can fine companies as much as 10 percent of yearly sales for joining a cartel to set prices.

SKF fell as much as 4.5 percent, the most in a week, and were down 3.8 percent to 137.40 kronor at 4:52 p.m. in Stockholm.

Jtekt and Nachi-Fujikoshi didn’t immediately respond to e-mails seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim McLaughlin in Stockholm at kmclaughlin6@bloomberg.net

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