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Canada fines Furukawa $5 million for bid-rigging conspiracy

Staff writer |
As part of an ongoing investigation by the Canadian Competition Bureau, Japanese supplier of motor vehicle components Furukawa Electric Co. was fined $5 million for an international bid-rigging conspiracy.

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The company was fined by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and that is the largest ever ordered by a court in Canada for a bid-rigging offence under the Competition Act.

The evidence shows that Furukawa secretly conspired with other Japanese motor vehicle components manufacturers to submit bids or tenders in response to requests for quotations to supply Honda of Canada Manufacturing Inc. with certain motor vehicle components. Furukawa's plea relates to electrical boxes, including fuse boxes, relay boxes and junction blocks, sold to Honda between 2000 and 2010 for the 2001 and 2006 Honda Civic models. The total volume of commerce in Canada affected by the bid-rigging conspiracy was approximately $41 million.

"Cracking down on cartels, including bid-rigging offences, is a top priority for the Bureau. This criminal activity defrauded the automobile sector in Canada and the substantial fine demonstrates the seriousness of such an offence," said John Pecman, Interim Commissioner of Competition Bureau.

Since 2000, Honda has produced more than 2.2 million Honda Civics in Canada. The Civic has been Canada's best-selling passenger car for 15 consecutive years. The Bureau's investigation only relates to motor vehicle components manufacturers and there is no allegation of wrongdoing against motor vehicle manufacturers, such as Honda; the customers of the companies under investigation.

The Bureau's ongoing investigation into the motor vehicle components industry is its largest to date with respect to bid-rigging, and is being coordinated with a number of other jurisdictions, including the United States, Japan, the European Community and Australia.

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