The Competition Bureau recently decided not to recommend charges against an autoparts maker who rigged bids, because the cars containing their parts were mostly sold in the US. Instead, it cooperated with the US Department of Justice its investigation.
As a result, Hiroshima based Nishikawa Rubber pleaded guilty in the US to rigging bids for body sealing parts (BSPs) from 2000 to 2012. BSPs keep the interiors of cars dry, protected and quiet.
Nishikawa was fined US$130 million. This amount includes a penalty for the over $200-million of rigged sales to Canadian-based car manufacturers, including Toyota and Honda. Since the cars for which the BSPs were used were mostly bound for sale in the US, the investigation required “unprecedented” cooperation between the DOJ’s Antitrust Division and the Bureau.
“Today’s resolution is only the most recent and visible example of cooperation that routinely occurs between the Competition Bureau and U.S. Department of Justice,” US Deputy Assistant Attorney General Snyder said. “We greatly appreciate and value the working relationship our two agencies have developed over many years of pursuing a shared mission to protect competition in our markets and the consumers who benefit from it.”
The Bureau’s decision not to pursue this matter in Canada is also a sign of increasing cooperation between the Bureau and US antitrust authorities in cross-border cases.