USA v. Fujikura Ltd., case number 2:12-cr-20254, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
As a result of the U.S. Department of Justice investigation in to anti-competitive conduct in the automotive industry, a Japanese automotive parts manufacturer has been charged with conspiring to fix and maintain prices of various automotive components sold to U.S. car manufacturers from at least January 2006 to February of 2010.
In a criminal investigation filed April 23, 2012, federal prosecutors accused executives of Fujikura Ltd. of conspiring with others during meetings and conversations in Japan to sell parts at noncompetitive prices to automobile manufacturers in the U.S. and to allocate the supply of automotive wire harness equipment on a model-by-model basis.
Fujikura plead guilty, has agreed to pay a criminal fine in the amount of $20 Million, and has agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation. Beside from charges against Fujikura, the DOJ’s investigation has resulted in guilty pleas of three other foreign companies and the payment of more than $748 million in fines.
It is important that companies contracting for business internationally, and especially within of the U.S., to be aware of the applicable local anti-trust laws and other regulatory standards in order to avoid potential litigation, fines, and penalties. A competent U.S. counsel could have advised Fujikura as to the ramifications of their actions in the U.S.
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