Tokyo-based Furukawa Electric Co. agreed to plea guilty and pay a $200 million (Dh734.6 million) fine for its role in a criminal price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy over the sale of parts to automakers, the US Justice Department has said.
It said three executives, who are Japanese nationals, have also agreed to plead guilty and to serve prison time in the United States ranging from a year and a day to 18 months.
The cases represented the department's first charges as a result of its ongoing international investigation of price fixing and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.
According to charges filed in federal court in Detroit, Furukawa and its executives — Junichi Funo, Hirotsugu Nagata and Tetsuya Ukai — engaged in a conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices of automotive wire harnesses and related products sold in the US and elsewhere.
The department said Furukawa participated in the conspiracy for about ten years, starting in January 2000. The harnesses are used to direct and control electronic components, wiring and circuit boards in cars. Two of the executives worked in the Honda sales division of Furukawa while the third one was a general sales manager and chief financial officer in the United States.
The company and the executives agreed to assist the investigation, the Justice Department said.