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12 Japanese auto firms face $200m fine

2014-08-20 11:02 chinadaily.com.cn Web Editor: Qin Dexing

Twelve Japanese auto parts and bearing suppliers will be fined nearly 1.24 billion yuan ($201 million) for monopolistic conduct related to pricing, the National Development and Reform Commission said on Wednesday morning.

Of the companies, eight auto spare parts suppliers will be fined 831.96 million yuan and four bearing suppliers will be fined 403.44 million yuan. The fine is the largest fine ever handed out by Chinese antitrust regulators.

From Jan 2000 to Feb 2010, the eight Japanese auto spare part suppliers (Hitachi Ltd; Denso Corp; Aisan Electric Co Ltd; Mitsubishi Electric Corp; Mitsuba Corp; Yazaki Corp; Furukawa Electric Co Ltd; Sumitomo Corp) were found to have held bilateral and multilateral meetings in order to establish multiple horizontal-pricing agreements which best served their own interests, according to the commission.

Spare parts that had their prices fixed were used in over 20 models of Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Suzuki and Ford cars.

In addition, the commission said that from 2000 to June 2011 the four Japanese bearing suppliers (Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp, Seiko Holdings Corp, JTEKT Corp, NTN Corp) organized meetings to discuss Asia and China market price policy, timing and magnitude of price appreciation, and implementation of price appreciation.

The fines handed out to the companies range from immunity for the two companies (Hitachi Ltd and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp), that admitted to price fixing agreements and provided evidence, up to a maximum of 8 percent of annual sales for companies judged to have most severely violated China's Anti Monopoly Law.

The three companies (Aisan Electric Co Ltd, Mitsubishi Electric Corp and Mitsuba Corp) found to have agreed prices on two or more auto parts were fined the maximum 8 percent of annual sales, 29.76 million, 44.88 million and 40.72 millon yuan respectively.

While bearing supplier JTEKT Corp was handed the maximum 8 percent of annual sales (109.36 million yuan) for organizing meetings that affected the Chinese market.

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