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$19 Million Fine for Japanese Company in Auto Parts Price Fixing Probe

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice announced July 16 that a Japan-based company has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $19 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of ignition coils installed in cars sold in the U.S. and elsewhere. An agency press release states that this is the first case in the DOJ’s antitrust investigation involving parts sold directly to an automobile company headquartered in the U.S.

The DOJ also reports that an executive of another company has agreed to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and serve 366 days in prison for his role in a conspiracy to fix the prices of certain seatbelts sold to a major automaker for installation in cars manufactured and sold in the U.S. and elsewhere.

According to the press release, there are now 10 companies and 15 executives that have pleaded guilty or agreed to do so, and $828 million in criminal fines that have been assessed, in the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.

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