Car parts manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric Corporation was fined $13.4 million in Ontario recently after it pleaded guilty to three counts of bid-rigging for its participation in an international conspiracy.
An investigation by Canada’s Competition Bureau found that the company entered into illegal agreements with a competing car parts maker in Japan. The companies, according to a press release from the bureau, then conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids between 2003-2006 issued by Honda and Ford for the supply of alternators, and by General Motors for the supply of ignition coils.
The “significant fine sends a clear message to the international marketplace that no matter where illegal agreements are conducted, if they affect Canadian consumers, the bureau will not hesitate to take action,” said Matthew Boswell, senior deputy commissioner of competition, in a statement.
The bureau said it first learned of cartel activity in the car parts industry through its immunity program, which provides immunity from prosecution to the first party to disclose an offence or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges.
The fine is the second biggest related to bid-rigging handed out by Canadian courts. In fact, the top three are all the result of bid-rigging agreements among car parts suppliers. Since 2013, $84 million in fines have been handed out in Canada in this area.