Japan: US DOJ announces latest auto parts price-fixing grab

The US Department of Justice announced Thursday that an executive of a Japanese auto parts manufacturer has been indicted in Detroit for charges of price-fixing, the latest in the DOJ’s crackdown on the price manipulation case.

According to the DOJ, an indictment was filed Thursday that accuses Hitoshi Hirano of participating in a price-fixing cartel to manipulate the cost of heater control panels sold to Toyota. Hirano is an ex-executive managing director at Tokai Rika Co.

The individual was also charged with attempting to destroy documents and electronic data that may hold evidence of antitrust crimes, the DOJ said.

Tokai Rika was ordered to pay a $17.7 million fine for its role in the price-fixing saga. Hirano’s indictment brings the number of individuals charged in the DOJ’s case to 37. Since the case began, 27 companies have agreed to plead guilty to price-fixing schemes and have been ordered to pay more than $2.3 billion in fines.

Full content: Justice.gov

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