Antitrust Law Daily Corning subsidiary to pay $66.5M fine for role in auto parts price fixing conspiracy
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Monday, May 16, 2016

Corning subsidiary to pay $66.5M fine for role in auto parts price fixing conspiracy

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

A Japanese subsidiary of Corning Incorporated has agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $66.5 million criminal fine for conspiring to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate the market for ceramic substrates used in catalytic converters supplied to automobile manufacturers. Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha is the 40th company charged to be charged in connection with an ongoing Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigation of the auto parts industry. A one-count felony charge was filed today in the federal district court in Detroit (U.S. v. Corning International K.K., Case No. 2:16-cr-20357-SJM-APP).

According to the charge, the Tokyo-based subsidiary—through Corning's mobile emissions division (Corning Environmental Technologies Japan)—marketed and managed the sale of Corning's U.S.-manufactured substrates. Ceramic substrates are used in automotive emissions control systems to reduce pollution. Automotive emissions control systems containing affected substrates were supplied to Ford Motor Company, General Motors, and Honda Motor Company, the government contended.

The charge against Corning International K.K. follows an indictment filed last week against a former company executive, Nobuhiko Niwa. Both were allegedly involved in the ceramic substrate conspiracy, from at least as early as July 1999 until about July 2011.

In addition to paying the fine, Corning International K.K. has agreed to cooperate in the Justice Department’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreement is subject to court approval.

Companies: Corning International K.K.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust AntitrustDivisionNews

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