The Federal Cartel Office searched the offices of 13 leading insurance companies across Germany on suspicion of price fixing in their industrial insurance businesses.
Allianz declined to comment on the allegations.
The Federal Cartel Office on Wednesday searched the offices of 13 leading insurance companies across Germany on suspicion of price fixing in the companies’ industrial insurance business.
Among the companies targeted are Allianz, Axa, Gerling, and Ergo subsidiary Victoria.
The Cartel Office spokesman confirmed to Handelsblatt that its investigators were searching for evidence of price fixing in the companies’ industrial and liability insurance businesses.
While Allianz declined to comment on the allegations, spokespeople for Gerling and Axa rejected them. The GDV insurance industry federation said it considered the allegations to be unrealistic.
Cartel Office chief Ulf Böge said he was determined to uncover any cases of cartel agreements and these latest cases were not “minor offenses”. He declined to comment on whether his office had taken the initiative in this investigation or whether a third party had raised the allegations.
After the Sept.11 terrorist attacks last year, industrial insureres, which for years have been operating at a loss amid intense competition, significantly increased their premiums. Sector experts said that coordinated action by the insurers could not be ruled out.