Japanese wire harness supplier fined $200 million, executives to be jailed for cartel activities


Furukawa Electric (Tokyo) ) concluded a plea agreement with the United States Department of Justice on September 29 under which the company acknowledged allegations made in criminal proceeding relating to cartel activities with certain competitors for automotive wire harness and related products and agreed to pay a fine of $200 million. Three U.S.-based executives, all Japanese citizens, will also be jailed in the U.S. as part of the agreement.

The Justice Department says Furukawa conspired with other cartel members to fix pricing wiring harnesses for a period of 10 year starting in January 2000. No details were provided on other companies involved in the price fixing schemes nor those companies who were affected.

According to court documents, Furukawa, executives Junichi Funo, Hirotsugu Nagata and Tetsuya Ukai, and their co-conspirators carried out the conspiracy by agreeing, during meetings and conversations, to allocate the supply of wire harnesses and related products on a model-by-model basis and to coordinate price adjustments requested by automobile manufacturers in the United States and elsewhere. They sold automotive wire harnesses and related products to automobile manufacturers at noncompetitive prices and engaged in meetings and conversations for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon bid-rigging and price-fixing scheme.
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