Auto parts company fined US$130 million for fixing prices in Canada and U.S.

OTTAWA – Japanese auto-parts manufacturer Nishikawa Rubber Co. has agreed to plead guilty and pay a US$130-million fine for its role in an international bid-rigging scheme that affected car sales in Canada and the U.S.

Subject to imposition by the U.S. courts, the resolution is the result of an unprecedented collaboration between Canada’s Competition Bureau and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Bureau said the substantial fine on Nishikawa effectively addresses the adverse effects of its conduct in Canada, as well as in the U.S.

The company admitted that between January 2000 and September 2012 it conspired with other suppliers to fix and rig bids for the sale of automotive body-sealing products.

The BSPs were sold to automakers in the U.S. for cars manufactured there, and cars manufactured in Canada by Toyota and Honda that were then sent to the U.S. for sale.

The Antitrust Division included US$236 million in sales that were made in Canada in its assessment of the proposed fine.