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Siemens Faces Probe Into Possible Extortion, FT Deutschland Says

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Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Siemens AG may face a criminal probe of allegations that management board member Brigitte Ederer extorted the mayor of the French city of Lille in an attempt to win an order, Financial Times Deutschland reported.

Lille prosecutors are reviewing the issue to decide whether to open an inquiry, the newspaper reported, citing the investigators. Mayor Martine Aubry told the municipal parliament in June that Ederer had sent an e-mail threatening cuts at Siemens’s French unit should the company fail to win an order valued at 266 million euros ($327 million) for a driverless subway system in the city, according to FTD.

Siemens lost the contract to Alstom SA, a French competitor, according to FT Deutschland. Ederer, who is head of human resources at Siemens, has been questioned by the authorities, the newspaper said.

Siemens doesn’t comment on pending proceedings, company spokesman Alexander Becker said. The company, based in Munich, is Europe’s largest engineering company.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karin Matussek in Berlin at kmatussek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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