A Japanese company has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $2.5 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for manual (non-electric or non-hydraulic-powered) steering columns installed in cars sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice reports. The plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, also requires the company to cooperate in the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry. According to the DOJ, 35 companies and 29 executives have now pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in this investigation and agreed to pay a total of more than $2.5 billion in criminal fines.

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