Japan’s Sanden Corp. has decided to plead guilty and agreed to pay a $3.2 million fine after it was investigated by the US authorities for agreeing to fix prices of air conditioning systems purchased by Nissan.
Sanden joins a long list of companies around the globe – 32 so far – that have been charged by the US Department of Justice for conspiring to fix prices of auto parts sold to carmakers. The probe has not concluded yet so we might get even more news about other suppliers indicted for breaching anti-trust regulations. According to documents filed by federal prosecutors in US District Court in Detroit, Sanden has been found guilty of one count of conspiracy to restrain trade – after it agreed to rig prices of compressors sold to Nissan North America, and makes an integral part of the biggest antitrust prosecution in US history. The investigation of the automotive supply chain has also spread to other countries, such as Canada, Europe and Asia. “Today’s charge is the latest in the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation of automobile parts suppliers,” commented Brent Snyder, deputy assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.
According to the federal antitrust law, dubbed the Sherman Act, the companies found guilty can be fined a maximum $100 million, while the maximum penalty can be double the amount gained from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims if any of these amounts exceeds the usual maximum $100 million fine.
Via Automotive News