Compliance Communications Blog

"One for You, One for Me"


11/15/14: Bid-rigging has become a familiar antitrust crime but the guilty plea by Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd., a Japan-based automotive parts manufacturer, resulted from its role in a conspiracy to allocate customers.  That plea agreement is costing the company $35.8 million. The scheme, according to the US DOJ, involved meetings and conversations between...Aisin and co-conspirators to divvy up the customers for variable valve timing (VVT) devices, planning to whom each would sell the devices and the bids and price quotations each would submit for VVT devices.  So, how big was this scheme?  Including Aisin, 31 companies and 44 individuals were charged in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation into the automotive parts industry.  All 31 companies have either pleaded guilty or have agreed to plead guilty and have agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion in criminal fines.  Of the 44 individuals, 26 have been sentenced to serve time in U.S. prison.  That suggests the problem might be more common than many of us thought.

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