Two more Japanese auto parts makers admit to price-fixing scheme

Los Angeles Times
January 31, 2012

A conspiracy stretching from the U.S. heartland to Tokyo and Europe stayed undetected for years, letting a handful of suppliers control the market in automotive wiring, the Justice Department says.

"Some of these products could cost only a penny," said Gregory Hansel, an attorney in Maine who has filed suits on behalf of six auto parts makers who allege that price fixing hurt their ability to compete. "But if you raise that by a quarter-penny and multiply it by millions of products over a decade, we're talking about real money."

Last week, a hearing was held in Miami to determine whether the suits should be consolidated and, if so, in what jurisdiction. Many plaintiffs' lawyers suggested that Michigan, home to so many suppliers, would be a good fit.

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