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52 Suppliers Settle Calif. Antitrust Claims

A group of 52 suppliers has agreed to pay California a combined $23 million for rigging bids and fixing prices on a wide range of auto parts.

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A group of 52 suppliers has agreed to pay California a combined $23 million for rigging bids and fixing prices on a wide range of auto parts.

California’s claim was prompted by a continuing, 9-year-old antitrust probe by the U.S. Dept. of Justice into criminal conspiracy to set prices on components ranging from seatbelts and brake lines to engine parts and air conditioning systems. The U.S. investigation is the most active in a coordinated global criminal probe that includes prosecutors in Europe and Japan.

The Justice Dept. has collected more than $4 billion in civil and criminal fines to date from dozens of suppliers who admitted guilt in manipulating bids and prices. At least 66 executives also have been charged or imprisoned for their roles in the cheating.

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