Japanese Auto Parts Exec Gets Jail for Price Fixing

Japanese Auto Parts Exec Gets Jail for Price Fixing

Between 2007 and 2010, Makoto Horie, formerly senior vice president of sales at the U.S. arm of Toyoda Gosei, took part in a conspiracy with other firms to set the prices of hoses sold to auto makers in the United States.

A former executive of a Japanese auto parts suppliers was sentenced to one year and one day in U.S. prison after pleading guilty Tuesday to price fixing.

Makoto Horie, formerly senior vice president of sales at the U.S. arm of Toyoda Gosei, agreed to plead guilty to one felony charge of price fixing and bid rigging in sales of automotive hoses to Toyota Motor Corp's U.S. subsidiaries and suppliers.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, between 2007 and 2010 Horie took part in a conspiracy with other firms to set the prices of hoses sold to auto makers in the United States.

As part of a plea deal, he also agreed to pay a $20,000 criminal fine and assist the department's ongoing investigations into price fixing in the auto parts industry.

In the wide-ranging probe, so far 49 individuals and 32 companies have been charged. The companies have pleaded guilty and agreed to pay fines totaling $2.4 billion.

Toyoda Gosei has been fined $26 million in two cases, on involving automotive hoses and another over price fixing for airbags and steering wheels.

"The charge today once again demonstrates the Antitrust Division's vigorous commitment to holding individuals accountable for engaging in anticompetitive conduct," said Brent Snyder, U.S. deputy assistant attorney general.

"The division’s ongoing investigation has resulted in more than two dozen executives serving prison time for their participation in illegal conspiracies involving auto parts," he said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2015

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