U.S. launches antitrust probe into Calif. auto agreement

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WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department is investigating whether the decision of four automakers in July to reach a voluntary agreement with California to adopt state emissions standards violated antitrust law, people briefed on the matter said.

In July, Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, Volkswagen Group and Honda Motor Co. said they had reached a deal to adopt standards that were lower than Obama-era rules but higher than the Trump administration’s 2018 proposal.

In a statement, Honda said it was cooperating with the Justice Department. The probe is in its early stages, the people said. The other automakers did not immediately comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the investigation earlier this morning. 


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