On May 4, 2012 the Competition Bureau announced that Maxzone Auto
Parts (Canada) pleaded guilty to price-fixing for its participation
in an international cartel involving aftermarket replacement
automotive lights. Maxzone was fined C$1.5 million under
subsection 45(2) of the Competition Act
which provides for imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of C$25
million for the offence of conspiracy to fix prices between
competitors.The products that were the subject matter of the
conspiracy consisted primarily of headlights and tail lights
purchased by auto parts supply companies in Canada for use as
replacement parts in automobiles.
Maxzone admitted to implementing an agreement with its
competitors that fixed the price of aftermarket automotive lights
in Canada from January 2004 to September 2008. The products
that were the subject matter of the conspiracy consisted primarily
of headlights and tail lights purchased by auto parts supply
companies in Canada for use as replacement parts in
The Bureau's investigation in this case benefited from
cooperation under its Immunity and Leniency Programs. The Immunity Program allows for
the first party to disclose to the Bureau the existence of an
offence that has not yet been detected or to provide evidence
leading to the filing of charges may receive immunity from
prosecution from the Director of Public Prosecutions of Canada
(DPP) as long as the party co-operates with the Bureau in its
investigation. Under the Leniency Program, the Bureau
may recommend to the DPP that cooperating persons who have breached
the cartel provisions under the Competition Act, who are
not eligible for a grant of immunity, nevertheless be considered
for lenient treatment in sentencing.
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