Japanese auto parts maker Inoac fined $1.3 million for bid-rigging in Canada
An investigation found that Inoac entered into illegal agreements with a competing Japanese manufacturer to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued for parts for Toyota Corollas manufactured and sold in Canada between 2008 and 2014.
Japanese car parts manufacturer Inoac Corp. has been ordered to pay $1.3 million for its role in an international bid-rigging conspiracy, after pleading guilty in late October before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
A Competition Bureau investigation determined that Inoac entered into illegal agreements with a competing Japanese parts manufacturer. The companies conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued by Toyota in 2004 for the supply of plastic interior car parts. The parts were used in Toyota Corollas manufactured and sold in Canada between 2008 and 2014.
The Bureau first began investigating in 2009 after it learned of illegal activity in the auto parts industry through its Immunity Program, which provides immunity from prosecution to the first party to disclose an offence or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges.
“The record-setting fines that resulted from our investigations send a clear message to the global marketplace: if you do business in Canada, you must comply with the law. Cracking down on bid-rigging and other anti-competitive schemes remains a top priority for the Bureau,” Matthew Boswell, interim commissioner of competition, said in a statement.
The guilty plea concludes the bureau’s investigation of international bid-rigging by car parts suppliers that has led to 13 guilty pleas and fines totalling more than $86 million.
The sum includes three of the largest bid-rigging fines ever imposed by Canadian courts: $30 million to Yazaki Corp., $13.4 million to Mitsubishi Electric and $13 million to Showa Corp.