Japan Fines Auto Parts Cos. $49.1M For Bid-Rigging

By Bill Donahue (March 21, 2013, 3:49 PM EDT) -- Japan's antitrust regulator handed down $49.1 million in fines to to three automobile parts companies Thursday after an investigation showed they conspired to drive up prices for headlights and taillights sold to Toyota Motor Corp. and other carmakers.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission said Koito Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Ichikoh Industries Ltd. and Stanley Electric Co. Ltd. rigged the bidding process for supply contracts with automakers by preordaining the winners and losers.

Koito faces a $36 million penalty, while Ichikoh will pay $13.1 million. Stanley, though involved in the collusion, escaped with no fines.

Encompassing contracts for scheme headlights, clearance lamps, backup...

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