Japanese Bearings Manufacturer Fined $5 Million

Japanese Bearings Manufacturer Fined $5 Million 
OTTAWA, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 07/12/13 -- The Competition
Bureau announced today that JTEKT Corporation (JTEKT), a Japanese
bearings manufacturer, pleaded guilty to two counts of bid-rigging
under the Competition Act and was fined $5 million by the Superior
Court of Quebec in Gatineau for its participation in an international
bid-rigging cartel.  
JTEKT's plea relates to automotive wheel hub unit bearings supplied
to Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. (Toyota) between 2007 and
2013. The evidence shows that JTEKT secretly conspired with another
Japanese bearings manufacturer to submit bids or tenders in response
to requests for quotations to supply Toyota. JTEKT is the first party
to plead guilty in relation to the investigation into automotive
bearings. There is no allegation of wrongdoing against Toyota, the
customer of the companies under investigation.  
"Companies that engage in bid-rigging and other cartel offences
manipulate and suppress the competitive process to the detriment of
all Canadians," said John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition.
"Cracking down on cartel offences that impact Canadians has been, and
will continue to be, a top priority for the Bureau."  
Canada is Toyota's seventh-largest global sales market, and
approximately 50 percent of the vehicles it sells in this country are
made in Ontario. As an example, 271,193 Corollas, 119,908 Matrix and
81,929 RAV4s were produced in Canada in 2008 and 2009 and assembled
in Ontario.  
The Bureau became aware of the bearings cartel by way of its Immunity
Program. Under the Immunity Program, the first party to disclose to
the Bureau an offence not yet detected or to provide evidence leading
to a referral of evidence to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada
(PPSC) may receive immunity from the PPSC, provided that it fully
cooperates with the Bureau's investigation and any ensuing
prosecution. Subsequent cooperating parties may receive lenient
treatment under the Bureau's Leniency Program. These programs provide
powerful incentives for organizations and individuals to come forward
and cooperate with the Bureau's investigations. JTEKT participated in
the Bureau's Leniency Program and provided substantial assistance to
the Bureau and the PPSC. The company's cooperation has saved
considerable costs associated with the investigation and prosecution. 
Under the bid-rigging provision of the Competition Act, it is a
criminal offence for two or more bidders, in response to a call or
request for bids or tenders, to agree on the bids submitted, to agree
that one party will refrain from bidding or to agree that one party
will withdraw a submitted bid, in each case without informing the
person calling for the bids of this agreement.  
Earlier this year, under a separate Bureau investigation, Furukawa
Electric Co., Ltd. and Yazaki Corporation, two Japanese suppliers of
motor vehicle components, pleaded guilty to bid-rigging under the
Competition Act and were respectively fined $5 million and $30
million for their participation in an international cartel.  
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency,
ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a
competitive and innovative marketplace.
Contacts:
For media enquiries, please contact:
Media Relations
819-994-5945
media@cb-bc.gc.ca 
For general enquiries, please contact:
Information Centre
Competition Bureau
819-997-4282 / Toll free: 1-800-348-5358
TTY (hearing impaired): 1-800-642-3844
www.competitionbureau.gc.ca