Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. has been fined Canadian $5 million
($4.9 million) by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for its
alleged participation in an international bid-rigging
The fine, which followed a probe
by Canadas Competition Bureau, is the largest ever
imposed by a Canadian court for a bid-rigging offense.
The Competition Bureau said
evidence showed that the supplier of copper-based wire harness
assemblies and other electronic parts for motor vehicles
conspired with other Japanese components makers to submit bids
in response to requests for quotes to supply Honda of Canada
The Canadian investigation
mirrored probes under way by the U.S. Federal Bureau of
Investigation and the Justice Departments Antitrust
division, as well as antitrust investigations in Japan and
Europe that have found conspiracies to rig bids and contracts
to supply many types of automotive parts sold to automakers
globally, but especially to Japanese, U.S. and European
"This criminal activity
defrauded the automobile sector in Canada and the substantial
fine demonstrates the seriousness of such an offense," John
Pecman, interim competition commissioner, said.
The Competition Bureau said it
became aware of the cartel by way of its immunity program. Its
continuing investigation into the motor vehicle components
industry, its largest to date in terms of bid-rigging, is being
coordinated with a number of other jurisdictions, including the
United States, Japan, the European Community and Australia.
In the United States, nine
companies and 12 executives have pleaded guilty or agreed to
plead guilty in the Justice Departments ongoing
investigation (amm.com, Nov. 19), with assessed
criminal fines totaling more than $790 million.