The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo has confirmed it's willing to take legal action against German industry giant Siemens. It believes this company and others were involved in price fixing in bids to build a metro system.
Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin confirmed his city was aiming to take Germany's Siemens to court over the alleged operation of a cartel.
He told reporters the engineering giant stood accused of colluding with other international companies to have fixed prices between 2001 and 2007 in bids to build the Brazilian city's metro system.
According to a report in the "Folha de Sao Paulo" newspaper, the other companies in collusion with Siemens were Canada's Bombardier, Spanish company CAF, France's Alstom as well as Japan's Mitsui.
Alckmin said the alleged price fixing deals had financially harmed the city itself and a number of local firms. He said there must be compensation for any losses incurred.
The head of Siemens Brazil, Paulo Stark, had said earlier his company was working with the authorities on the ground and fully cooperating with them. But he added that because of ongoing confidential investigations Siemens could not comment on the affair right away.
Sao Paulo invests billions of dollars annually to improve the public transport system for its 20 million inhabitants. Rising ticket prices for various means of transport had recently led to nation-wide protests.
hg/hc (dpa, AFP, Reuters)