Thirteenth guilty plea concludes auto parts bid-rigging investigations with fines totalling over $86 million

News release

October 19, 2018 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

Japanese car parts manufacturer INOAC Corporation was ordered to pay $1.3 million for its role in an international bid-rigging conspiracy, after pleading guilty today before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

A Competition Bureau investigation determined that INOAC entered into illegal agreements with a competing Japanese parts manufacturer. The companies conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued by Toyota in 2004 for the supply of plastic interior car parts. The parts were used in Toyota Corollas manufactured and sold in Canada between 2008 and 2014.

Today’s guilty plea concludes the Bureau’s investigation of a series of international bid-rigging conspiracies among car parts suppliers. The investigations led to 13 guilty pleas and fines totalling more than $86 million, including three of the largest bid-rigging fines ever imposed by the courts in Canada: $30 million (Yazaki Corporation), $13.4 million (Mitsubishi Electric) and $13 million (Showa Corporation).

Quotes

“The record-setting fines that resulted from our investigations send a clear message to the global marketplace: if you do business in Canada, you must comply with the law. Cracking down on bid-rigging and other anti-competitive schemes remains a top priority for the Bureau.”

Matthew Boswell,
Interim Commissioner of Competition

Quick facts

  • INOAC pleaded guilty under the Criminal Code to one count of conspiracy to engage in bid-rigging.

  • INOAC was ordered to pay a fine of $1.13 million and a victim surcharge of $169,500.

  • The auto parts investigations benefitted from the cooperation of numerous companies under the Bureau’s  Leniency Program, in which INOAC participated. INOAC also implemented a corporate compliance program to prevent further anticompetitive conduct.

  • The Bureau first began investigating in 2009 after it learned of illegal activity in the auto parts industry through 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.

  • The Immunity and Leniency Programs are the Bureau’s most powerful tools for detecting and stopping illegal conduct.

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