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Bombardier implicated in Brazilian price fixing case

Bombardier Inc. says it is co-operating with authorities in Brazil who are looking into alleged price-fixing in public transportation contracts, but denies any wrongdoing by its employees.

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Brazilian prosecutors have charged executives from Bombardier Inc. with forming a cartel to jack up prices for construction contracts in Sao Paulo.

The Montreal-based company maintains its employees followed the law, although a spokesman for Bombardier said the employees are no longer with the firm.

Brazilian prosecutors charged 30 executives from 12 companies related to a price-fixing scheme for construction and upkeep of the subway and train systems in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to a report from the Associated Press.

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"Bombardier observes the highest ethical standards regardless of the country where it is based or the Business activity it has engaged in," spokesman Marc Laforge said in an e-mail. "We strongly believe that Bombardier Transportation in Brazil and our employees have always acted in compliance with the laws and our code of ethics."

The aerospace and transportation company issued this same statement last Thursday, but Mr. Laforge said the company's position has not changed. On the telephone, he said: "Those four employees are not even with Bombardier any more." The AP report does not say how many Bombardier employees were charged.

The Canadian company says it is co-operating with the investigation.

The press office of the Sao Paulo State Prosecutor's Office says that executives from companies including Germany's Siemens, CAF of Spain, Mitsui of Japan, Alstom of France and Hyundai Rotem are among those being charged.

Tuesday's statement says the companies were involved in price fixing, and those that won bids then contracted the losing companies to provide services. Five contacts signed between 1998 and 2008 are being investigated.

With files from the Associated Press

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