Antitrust Alliance: Large-scale parts price-fixing class action nets $78 million for settlement distribution

Toronto, Ontario — A class action lawsuit involving four law firms from across Canada has managed to rack up $78 million to be distributed as settlement to the victims of an auto parts price-fixing conspiracy, according to a Wednesday press release.

Siskinds LLP, Sotos LLP, Camp Fiorante Matthews Mogerman LLP (CFM) and Siskinds Desmeules s.e.n.c.r.l. broke the news at noon on Wednesday that the members of their 45 separate class actions have been approved for a hefty payout for having been affected by a price-fixing scam involving 12 major OEMs.

“Price-fixing conspiracies are prohibited by the Competition Act. They are harmful to the Canadian marketplace, causing businesses and consumers to pay too much for goods and services,” said CFM partner David Jones. “The settlements seek to redress that harm.”

The OEMs identified in the class action are Aston Martin, BMW/Mini Cooper, Chrysler/Dodge/Fiat/Jeep/Ram, Ford/Lincoln/Mercury, General Motors (Buick/Cadillac/Chevrolet/Daewoo/GMC/Hummer/Isuzu/Oldsmobile/Pontiac/Saab/Saturn), Honda/Acura, Jaguar/Land Rover, Mazda, Nissan/Infiniti, Subaru, Toyota/Lexus and Volkswagen/Audi/Porsche and Volvo.

The joint press release states, however, that no allegations of wrongdoing have been leveled against these automakers, but against the parts manufacturers who are alleged to have fixed their prices.

The class counsel said this case amounts to the largest antitrust investigation in history, given the sheer number of affected parts, parties and fines imposed.

Additionally, the timeline of the case occurs over the course of 18 years—between July 1, 1998, and September 30, 2016—making it especially difficult to directly track every  instance of price-fixing over the period.

“To date, more than $179 million has been recovered for the benefit of Canadians in the auto parts class actions,” says Sotos LLP partner Jean Marc Leclerc. “This is the second round of distribution and there will be at least one more distribution.”

Applications to receive settlement benefits will be accepted until Oct. 30. Click here for information on how to apply, as well as for additional background information on the class action.


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