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Nine Auto Parts Companies to Pay More than $740 Million for Price Fixing Scheme

Monday, September 30, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice announced Sept. 26 that nine Japan-based companies and two executives have agreed to plead guilty and pay a total of more than $740 million in criminal fines for their roles in decade-long conspiracies to fix the prices of more than 30 different products sold to U.S. car manufacturers and installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder noted that these conspiracies affected more than $5 billion in automobile parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers and that more than 25 million cars purchased by U.S. consumers were affected.

The DOJ states that a total of 20 companies and 21 executives have now been charged in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry, which Holder said “is the largest criminal investigation the Antitrust Division has ever pursued.” All 20 companies have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty and have agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion in criminal fines. Seventeen of the 21 executives have been sentenced to serve time in U.S. prisons or have entered into plea agreements calling for significant prison sentences.

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