The Implications of DOJ’s Auto Parts Price-Fixing Enforcement Actions

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BACKGROUND -

In plea agreements filed by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on September 26, 2013, nine automobile parts manufacturers agreed to pay more than $740 million in criminal fines to resolve charges of price-fixing of more than 30 different auto part products. These plea agreements are the most recent and significant developments in what DOJ has called the “largest criminal investigation the Antitrust Division has ever pursued.” Additional charges regarding auto parts are anticipated, both in the U.S. and in other jurisdictions where investigations are also pending.

The first charges in this investigation were first filed in 2011. A total of 20 companies now have agreed to pay more than $1.6 billion in fines, and 17 executives have agreed to serve time in prison. The investigation continues. Earlier this week, the German Federal Cartel Office conducted dawn raids at additional investigation targets.

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