Koyo Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Japanese auto parts supplier JTEKT Corp., has been ordered by the Federal Court of Australia to pay a civil penalty of A$2 million for violation of the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010 for cartel conduct in 2008 and 2009 relating to the supply of ball and roller bearings for use in motor vehicles and industrial applications.
Koyo Australia supplies products for automotive and industrial applications including Wheel Hub Units, Transmission Bearings, Steering Systems, Conveyor Roller Bearings and Household Appliance Bearings.
JTEKT and Koyo Australia have fully cooperated with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) investigation and has reached a settlement agreement. Koyo Australia agreed to pay the above penalty which was approved by the court.
“As Koyo Australia treats this matter with the utmost seriousness, it has taken the appropriate measures to prevent any recurrence and it has increased its efforts to ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations,” said the company in a statement.
“Koyo Australia sincerely regrets the concern this matter has generated.”
ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said the focus on cartel conduct sends a strong message.
“It is crucial for the proper functioning of business in Australia that the ACCC continues to tackle cartel conduct with the full force of the law,” Ms. Court said in a news release in July.
“Cartel conduct such as price fixing not only cheats consumers and other businesses but is damaging to the Australian economy.”
Meanwhile JTEKT is already set to plead guilty and pay $103.3 million in the United States for fixing prices of various parts sold to Toyota Motor Corp and Nissan Motor Co., according to a report from Reuters.
The company was already fined $4.9 million for violating anti-trust laws in Canada earlier in the year and it is currently being investigated by European Union antitrust regulators, company spokesman Kenji Ando told Reuters on Friday.