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Takata Corp. Agrees to Pay $71.3 Million Fine for Its Role in Alleged Price-Fixing and Bid-Rigging in the Automotive Parts Industry

On October 10, 2013, Takata Corp. (Takata), a Japanese auto parts maker, agreed to pay a $71.3 million as part of a plea agreement for its role in an alleged conspiracy to fix prices on seat belts sold to car manufacturers.   In addition, Takata agreed that the Chairman-CEO, Shigehisa Takada, will take a 30 percent cut in his compensation and the other directors will take a 15 percent cut.

According to the criminal charges filed in Detroit last week, Takata is accused of conspiring with other companies between January 2003 and February 2011 to suppress and eliminate competition in the automotive parts industry by agreeing to rig bids for, and to fix, stabilize and maintain the prices of certain seatbelts.

The alleged price-fixing affected products sold to multiple U.S. and international automobile manufacturers.  Takata is also a supplier of automotive air bags, interior components and steering wheel systems, which have previously been a focus of investigation in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) auto parts price-fixing investigations.

The DOJ’s ongoing auto parts investigation has yielded charges against companies who manufacture a wide number of automotive parts including seatbelts, airbags, steering wheels, antilock brake systems, instrument panel clusters and wire harnesses.

The DOJ has already brought criminal charges against 21 companies and 21 executives and has imposed nearly $1.7 billion in total fines as part of its automotive parts investigation.

© 2020 McDermott Will & EmeryNational Law Review, Volume III, Number 288

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About this Author

Nicole L. Castle, Antitrust Attorney, McDermott Will Law firm
Associate

Nicole L. Castle is an associate in the law firm of McDermott Will & Emery LLP and is based in the Firm’s New York office.  She focuses her practice on complex civil and criminal antitrust litigation.  She has extensive experience representing clients in class action antitrust litigations at the trial and appellate level and defending mergers and acquisitions before the U.S. antitrust agencies.  She has also counseled clients on strategies for addressing cartel prosecutions and defenses, from the inception of government investigations to the initiation of civil class action litigation...

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