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DENSO fined $2.45M; latest to plead guilty in auto parts bid- rigging case

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OTTAWA - A Japanese manufacturer of motor vehicle components has been fined almost $2.5 million after pleading guilty to three counts of bid-rigging under the Canada's Competition Act.

DENSO Corp. was fined $2.45 million by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for conspiring with other Japanese manufacturers in bidding on contracts to supply Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada Inc. with certain motor vehicle components.

The Competition Bureaus said it was the sixth guilty plea arising from its investigations involving motor vehicle components, with nearly $52 million in fines imposed by the courts since April 2013.

The bureau first learned of cartel activity in the motor vehicle components industry by way of its immunity program, after which it began its investigation in December 2009. The probe also benefited from the co-operation of a number of under the bureau's leniency program, it said.

"The bureau's investigations involving this industry relate to a series of alleged conspiracies and bid-rigging agreements or arrangements among various suppliers in the sale and supply of components used in the manufacture of motor vehicles in Canada and elsewhere, primarily by Japanese original equipment manufacturers," it said.

"Today's guilty plea by DENSO is yet another example of the bureau's on-going pursuit of criminal behaviour related to the supply of auto parts to Canadian-based automobile manufacturers. The bureau will continue to pursue those alleged to have committed crimes in relation to the supply of motor vehicle components and in other sectors of the Canadian economy."

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