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US/Japan: First civil settlement appears from ballooning auto price-fixing case

 |  January 7, 2014

The global auto parts price-fixing saga has so far yielded about $1.6 billion in criminal fines, amounting to the US Department of Justice’s largest antitrust case in its history. But the latest fines, issued to Japan-based parts supplier Nippon Seiki, mark the first civil settlement of the case.

Reports say the company agreed to plead guilty to the charges and pay a $4.56 million fine to consumers and companies seeking damages from the alleged price-fixing. Lawyers announced the agreement Tuesday.

Nippon had previously pleaded guilty to similar charges in 2012, leading to a $1 million criminal fine following allegations by the DOJ that the company fixed car meter prices that were sold in the US between 2008 and 2010.

Reports say the civil settlement is an “ice-breaker,” as it will likely lead to additional car meter price-fixing settlements.

Full Content: Detroit News

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