Bid rigging investigation wraps up

By CRM staff

Toronto, Ontario — October 22, 2018 — A nine-year investigation regarding the international bid-rigging conspiracy scheme of Toyota Corolla parts manufactured and sold in Canada has wrapped up, resulting in 13 guilty pleas and record-breaking fines totalling more than $86 million. Japanese car parts manufacturer INOAC Corporation, was the thirteenth guilty plea resulting in a fine of $1.3 million to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

A Competition Bureau investigation determined that INOAC entered into illegal agreements with a competing Japanese parts manufacturer.

The companies conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued by Toyota in 2004 for the supply of plastic interior car parts. 

INOAC didn’t have the largest fine, in fact this investigation contained three of the largest bid-rigging fines ever imposed by the courts in Canada.

In 2013, Yazaki was fined $30 million for rigging bids for wire harnesses, and just last year Mitsubishi Electric Corporation was fined $13.4 million for rigging bids for alternators and ignition coils.

“The record-setting fines that resulted from our investigations send a clear message to the global marketplace: if you do business in Canada, you must comply with the law. Cracking down on bid-rigging and other anti-competitive schemes remains a top priority for the Bureau,” said interim commissioner of competition, Matthew Boswell

The Bureau first began investigating in 2009 after it learned of illegal activity in the auto parts industry through its Immunity Program. The program provides immunity from prosecution to the first party and to further provide evidence leading to the filing of charges. 

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