The European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority have launched parallel investigations into the automotive sector, with dawn raids having taken place across EU Member States and the UK yesterday.

This is the first example (that we are aware of) of a coordinated dawn raid between the EC and CMA since Brexit became effective and could signal close cooperation between the agencies going forward.

Little is known about the investigation at this stage. But the concern seems to relate to the collection, treatment and recovery of end-of-life cars and vans which are considered waste.

This seems consistent with the Commission’s current prioritization principles and Commissioner Vestager has already signalled an interest in investigating agreements that prevent sustainability developments.

The existence of an investigation does not prejudge the outcome or confirm wrongdoing. But it does seem that the investigation was stoked by an immunity applicant, which is, of itself, fairly interesting given the reputed decline in the attractiveness of the leniency and immunity regime since the expansion of private damages actions in the UK and elsewhere.