The Department of Justice reports that an auto parts supplier based in Germany has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $57.8 million criminal fine for its role in a decade-long conspiracy to allocate the supply of, rig bids for, and fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of spark plugs, oxygen sensors and starter motors sold to automobile and internal combustion engine manufacturers in the U.S. and elsewhere. Under the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, the company will also cooperate in the DOJ’s ongoing investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry. To date, this investigation has resulted in 34 companies and 29 executives having pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty and agreed to pay a total of nearly $2.5 billion in criminal fines.
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