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$52.1 Million Criminal Fine on Japanese Company for Auto Parts Price Fixing

Thursday, August 21, 2014
Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report

The Department of Justice announced Aug. 19 that an automotive parts manufacturer based in Japan has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $52.1 million criminal fine for its 11-year involvement in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for spark plugs, standard oxygen sensors and air fuel ratio sensors installed in cars sold to automobile manufacturers in the United States and elsewhere. The company has also agreed to cooperate in the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry, which to date has seen 28 companies and 26 executives plead guilty or agree to plead guilty and agree to pay a total of $2.4 billion in criminal fines. DOJ notes that the charges against the Japanese company are the first to be filed in this investigation relating to spark plugs, standard oxygen sensors and air fuel ratio sensors.

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