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Alpha Corporation to plead guilty in price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy

Staff Writer |
Alpha Corporation has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $9 million criminal fine for its role in a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy.

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The conspiracy is involving automotive access mechanisms for installation in cars manufactured and sold in the United States and elsewhere, the Justice Department announced.

According to a one-count felony charge filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit, Japan-based Alpha conspired from at least as early as 2002 until at least September 2011 to fix prices and rig bids for automotive access mechanisms sold to Nissan Motor and certain of its subsidiaries, including Nissan North America.

Access mechanisms consist of inside and outside door handles, tailgate or trunk handles, keys, lock sets (also called key sets), door locks and electrical and mechanical steering column locks.

The Antitrust Division charges that Alpha and its co-conspirator engaged in meetings and conversations to discuss and agree upon the bids and price quotations to be submitted to Nissan for the sale of access mechanisms.

As part of its plea, Alpha has agreed to cooperate in the Division’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

This charge is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement sections and the FBI.

Including Alpha, 46 companies and 64 executives have been charged in the division’s investigation and have agreed to pay a total of more than $2.8 billion in criminal fines.

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