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EU: Regulator fines five car airbag, seatbelt suppliers over cartel

 |  November 22, 2017

EU antitrust regulators fined five car safety equipment makers a total of €34 million (US$40.0 million) on Wednesday, November 22, for taking part in cartels to fix prices for seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels to Japanese carmakers.

The companies, Tokai Rika, Takata, Autoliv, Toyoda Gosei and Marutaka, took part in one or more of four cartels for the supply of car seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels to Japanese car manufacturers in the European Economic Area (EEA).

All five suppliers acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to settle the case. Of the five companies, while Takata was not fined for three of the cartels as it revealed their existence to the Commission, and Tokai Rika was not fined for one of the cartels as it revealed its existence to the Commission.

“Seatbelts and airbags protect lives every day and are essential in all cars in the EU,” said competition policy Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager. “The five suppliers fined today colluded to maximise their profits from the sale of these components.

“This may have raised the costs of these car parts for a number of manufacturers selling cars in Europe, potentially affecting consumers.

“We do not accept cartels that affect the European consumers, even if the cartel is organised outside Europe.”

The five car component suppliers addressed in this decision coordinated prices or markets and exchanged sensitive information for the supply of seatbelts, airbags and steering wheels to Japanese car manufacturers, Toyota, Suzuki and Honda in the EEA.

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