Ironically, while Europe has led the US in holding Silicon Valley tech firms accountable for anti-trust and data privacy violations, the shoe has been on the other foot when it comes to Diesel-gate - revelations that German automaker Volkswagen installed defeat devices in its diesel cars to help them cheat American emissions inspections.
After the US charged former Volkswagen CEO Martin Winterkorn with fraud, conspiracy and violations of the Clean Air Act last spring, Braunschweig public prosecutors revealed Monday that they were charging Winterkorn and four other executives with serious fraud and violations of competition law, BBG reported.
VW has had to recall hundreds of thousands of cars around the world since the company admitted in 2015 that it installed the illegal software in its diesel engines to cheat anti-emissions tests.
Prosecutors didn't name the other four executives, but according to prosecutors, Winterkorn was informed about the scam in May 2014.
Six months later, he signed off on a "useless" software update that prosecutors said helped further the scam.