Seven firms have pleaded guilty in price-fixing probe conducted by Competition Bureau targeting auto suppliers
TORONTO—Japanese auto parts supplier Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd. has been fined $4.5 million after pleading guilty to participating in an international price-fixing scheme.
The federal Competition Bureau found that Yamashita and another Japanese auto parts supplier, which was not identified, conspired to rig bids for anti-vibration parts that were sold to Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
Honda bought the parts, which are pieces of rubber and metal that are installed in vehicles to reduce noise and vibrations, for cars built in the automaker’s Canadian factories, run by Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM).
The Competition Bureau says the bid-rigging scheme took place between April 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2009.
So far, the bureau’s investigation into auto parts suppliers has led to seven guilty pleas and netted more than $56 million in fines since April 2013.
The fine against Yamashita was imposed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
“International companies who engage in bid-rigging that impacts the supply of auto parts to Canadian-based automobile manufacturers continue to be an enforcement priority for the bureau,” Matthew Boswell, the bureau’s senior deputy commissioner of competition, said in a statement.
“Yamashita chose to plead guilty and co-operate with authorities in Canada. This is another example of how the bureau’s leniency program works to detect and combat cartel offences, whether criminal conduct is committed in Canada or abroad.”