DOJ already nabbed nine auto parts companies; Looking for more.
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/01/2013 -- A U.S. Department of Justice official stated that a wide-range probe for price fixing in varying areas of the car parts market has expanded to product segments. The precise areas the probe will be venturing is not yet known.
"The investigation is broader than what we've announced so far," Scott Hammond, deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division, told reporters in Detroit. He declined to provide further detail or predict when the probe would close.”
There Are nine auto parts makers who have already plead guilty to such charges. Tokai Rika, Autoliv , TRW Deutschland Holding GmbH, Nippon Seiki Co Ltd, Fujikura Ltd, Furukawa Electric Co Ltd, Denso Corp, Yazaki Corp and G.S. Electech, each entered guilty pleads to their alleged price-fixing activities.
The Justice Department is working alongside the antitrust officials within Japan and Europe to coordinate the probe. The department had initially confirmed that it was conducting price-fixing investigations in early 2010, and has imposed $809 million in fines up to early 2013. That includes a $470 million against Yazaki, stated Hammond.
There are twelve individuals who have plead guilty. Ten individuals from Japan have surrendered to the U.S. Jurisdiction, and each will be serving jail time reach two years in prison time.
"It's still very much ongoing, but it already appears to be the biggest criminal antitrust investigation that we've ever encountered," Hammond said. "I say (it is) the biggest with respect to the impact on U.S. business and consumers, and the number of companies and executives that are subject to the investigation."
Hammond added: "The investigation has grown in terms of the discovery of additional wrongdoing affecting additional products."
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