BUSINESS

Auto parts supplier Yamashita pleads guilty to bid rigging, fined $4.5 million

12/11/2014 01:45 EST | Updated 02/10/2015 05:59 EST
TORONTO - Japanese auto parts supplier Yamashita Rubber Co. has been fined $4.5 million after pleading guilty to participating in an international price-fixing scheme.

The Competition Bureau found that Yamashita and another Japanese auto parts supplier, which was not identified, conspired to rig bids for anti-vibration parts that were sold to Honda Motor Co.

Honda bought the parts, which are pieces of rubber and metal that are installed in vehicles to reduce noise and vibrations, for cars built in the automaker's Canadian factories.

The Competition Bureau says the bid-rigging scheme took place between April 1, 2012, and Dec. 31, 2009.

So far, the bureau's investigation into auto parts suppliers has led to seven guilty pleas and netted over $56 million in fines since April 2013.

The fine against Yamashita was imposed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

"International companies who engage in bid-rigging that impacts the supply of auto parts to Canadian-based automobile manufacturers continue to be an enforcement priority for the bureau," Matthew Boswell, the bureau's senior deputy commissioner of competition, said in a statement.

"Yamashita chose to plead guilty and co-operate with authorities in Canada. This is another example of how the bureau’s leniency program works to detect and combat cartel offences, whether criminal conduct is committed in Canada or abroad."