Mitsubishi Electric to pay $13.4 million for rigging bids for car parts
11th guilty plea in international bid-rigging conspiracy
April 25, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau
Car parts manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation pleaded guilty today to three counts of bid-rigging for participating in an international conspiracy and was fined $13.4 million by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
A Bureau investigation determined that Mitsubishi Electric entered into illegal agreements with a competing Japanese car parts manufacturer. The companies conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued by Honda and Ford for the supply of alternators, and by General Motors for the supply of ignition coils. The calls for bids occurred between 2003 and 2006.
To date, investigations into a series of bid-rigging agreements among car parts suppliers have resulted in the three largest fines ever ordered by a court in Canada for bid‑rigging offences: Yazaki Corporation ($30 million), Mitsubishi Electric ($13.4) and Showa Corporation ($13 million).
Since April 2013, Bureau investigations involving car parts have resulted in over $84 million in fines imposed by the courts in Canada.
“Today’s resolution including this significant fine sends a clear message to the international marketplace that no matter where illegal agreements are conducted, if they affect Canadian consumers, the Bureau will not hesitate to take action.”
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition
Alternators charge the battery and supply electricity to the electrical systems, such as the exterior and interior lights while the vehicle is running.
Ignition coils are used to transform voltage from the battery to the necessary voltage to trigger a spark plug which ignites fuel.
The Bureau first learned of cartel activity in the car parts industry by way of its Immunity Program which provides immunity from prosecution to the first party to disclose an offence or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges.
These car parts investigations also benefitted from the cooperation of numerous companies under the Leniency Program, in which Mitsubishi Electric participated. Mitsubishi Electric also implemented a compliance program to prevent further contravention of the Competition Act.
- On July 20, 2016, Nishikawa Rubber Co., Ltd. pleaded guilty and paid a fine of US$130 million, for rigging bids for body sealing products.
- On April 1, 2016, Showa Corporation was fined $13 million for rigging bids for electric power steering gears.
- On December 9, 2015, Toyo Tire was fined $1.7 million for rigging bids for anti‑vibration components.
- On December 11, 2014, Yamashita Rubber Co. was fined $4.5 million for rigging bids for anti-vibration components and systems.
- On August 20, 2014, DENSO Corporation was fined $2.45 million for rigging bids for body electronic control units.
- On February 20, 2014, Panasonic Corporation was fined $4.7 million for rigging bids for certain types of switches and sensors.
- On January 30, 2014, NSK Ltd. was fined $4.5 million for rigging bids for automotive wheel hub unit bearings.
- On July 12, 2013, JTEKT Corporation was fined $5 million for rigging bids for automotive wheel hub unit bearings.
- On April 18, 2013, Yazaki Corporation was fined $30 million for rigging bids for wire harnesses.
- On April 4, 2013, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. was fined $5 million for rigging bids for electrical boxes.
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