$26 Million Criminal Fine for Auto Parts Price Fixing
The Department of Justice announced Sept. 29 that a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $26 million criminal fine for its role in conspiracies to fix prices and rig bids for automotive hoses, airbags and steering wheels sold to automobile manufacturers. The company’s involvement in these conspiracies lasted six to seven years.
The DOJ states that these charges are the latest in its ongoing investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry and are the first charges filed relating to automotive hoses sold to automobile manufacturers. To date, 43 individuals have been charged and 29 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty and agreed to pay a total of nearly $2.4 billion in fines. The Japanese company fined this week has agreed to cooperate in this investigation.