FTC clamps down on car parts cartel

JIJI

The Fair Trade Commission will order five firms to stop an alleged price cartel on auto parts that violates the antimonopoly law, informed sources said Monday.

The antimonopoly watchdog has informed the five firms — Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Calsonic Kansei Corp., Mitsuba Corp., T. Rad Co. and Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. — of its decision to issue the orders.

It also plans to impose fines, ranging from several hundred million yen to more than ¥1 billion, on four of them.

In the suspected cartel, the five companies made prior arrangements that would allow them to continue supplying major automakers with parts even after model changeovers, according to the sources.

The cartel reportedly covers radiators, alternators, wipers and engine starters.

The FTC conducted on-site inspections of the five companies in July 2011, the sources said.