Three Toyota Suppliers Raided by FBI in Antitrust Case

Warrants were served on Denso International America, Yazaki North America and Tokai Rika, also known as Tram.

The U.S. offices of three Toyota suppliers were raided by the FBI in what one company said was an antitrust investigation, officials said on Feb. 24.

Warrants were served late on Feb. 23 on the Detroit-area offices of three Japanese parts suppliers: Denso International America, Yazaki North America and Tokai Rika, also known as Tram, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

"This is not related to the investigation into Toyota recalls," Denso spokeswoman Bridgette LaRose Gollinger said.

The Detroit-area headquarters of Denso's U.S. subsidiary was "inspected" by the FBI and the U.S. Justice Department "in regard to U.S. antitrust laws," Gollinger wrote in an e-mail. Denso "is cooperating with this investigation," Gollinger said, adding "we cannot comment on information related to the inspection."

It was not clear if Toyota was also implicated in the investigation and representatives for the Japanese automaker were not immediately available for comment.

The FBI would not confirm or deny Denso's assertion that the warrants were in relation to an anti-trust case or comment on whether Toyota was involved. "The affidavits are sealed in federal court. I can provide no further information," FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold said.

Representatives for Yazaki and Tokai Rika were not immediately available for comment.

U.S. antitrust laws prohibit unfair business practices such as price fixing or bid rigging and are designed to maintain a competitive marketplace.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2010

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