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Mitsubishi, Hitachi Charged With Rigging Car-Part Bids

Sept. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. and Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. are among companies charged by the U.S. with conspiring to rig bids for car parts.

The companies were named in documents filed today in federal court in Detroit. They’re charged with conspiracy to restrain trade for fixing prices of automotive parts sold to carmakers including Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., Chrysler Group LLC, Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co.

The U.S. Justice Department, which has been investigating price-fixing, bid-rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the auto parts industry, said on Sept. 24 that more than $874 million in criminal fines had been imposed and that 11 companies and 19 executives had been charged in the probe.

Competition authorities around the world have been investigating suppliers, and more than 100 products and more than 70 companies are involved in the probe, EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a speech yesterday in Washington.

Other companies charged today include Mitsuba Corp. and Valeo Japan. The Justice Department said earlier that it will hold a news conference today in Washington related to an antitrust enforcement action

To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in New York at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net; Sara Forden in Washington at sforden@bloomberg.net; Margaret Cronin Fisk in Detroit at mcfisk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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