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12 Japanese auto parts suppliers fined 1.24bln yuan over price monopoly

A total of 12 Japanese auto parts suppliers have been fined 1.24 billion yuan (US$201 million) due to a price monopoly, China’s top price regulator confirmed today.

The Japanese auto parts suppliers punished include Hitachi, Denso, Aisan, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsuba, Yazaki, Furukawa, Sumitomo and bearing makers Nachi, NSK, JTEKT and NTN, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said.

Hitachi and Nachi were exempt from the punishment as it was the first Japanese company to report their monopoly agreements and offer important evidence in this regard, the NDRC said.

The fines to ten other companies varied from 290 million yuan to 29.76 million yuan, according to the NDRC.

The eight Japanese auto parts suppliers were found to have frequently met bilaterally or multilaterally in Japan from January 2000 to February 2010, negotiating over prices and implementing agreements over quoted prices concerning orders from the Chinese market.

The four bearing makers were also found to have jointly convened meetings in Japan and Shanghai from 2000 to June 2011 to discuss the timing and scope of price hikes for bearing products in the Chinese market and later raised their price according to their negotiations, the NDRC said.

Such moves by the 12 Japanese auto parts suppliers have violated the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law, excluding or restraining market competition and thus damaging the rights and interests of downstream manufacturers and consumers, the NDRC said.

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