Auto parts manufacturers fined $740 million for price fixing

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According to the department, the firms conspired to fix prices on more than 30 different products like starter motors and radiators that were inserted in cars made by Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and others.

More than 25 million cars sold in the United States were affected by the conspiracies, department officials said, some of which lasted for more than a decade.

Thursday’s action is part of a larger effort at the Justice Department to crack down on price rigging of automobile parts. Including the new charges, a total of 20 companies have pleaded guilty and agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion in fines.

“We have seen a pattern during the course of this investigation. The detection of one auto part conspiracy has led to the discovery of other conspiracies involving a new set of products, a new group of conspirators and a new list of victims,” said Scott Hammond, assistant attorney general for the department’s Antitrust Criminal Enforcement program, according to prepared remarks.