On April 18, 2013 before Justice L.D. Ratushny of the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice, a Japanese supplier of motor vehicle
components, Yazaki Corporation ("Yazaki") pleaded guilty
to three counts of bid-rigging, in violation of subsection 47(2) of
the Competition Act. The guilty plea arises from
Yazaki's participation in an international bid-rigging
conspiracy. Yazaki was fined $30 million, the largest fine ever
ordered by a court in Canada for a bid-rigging offence under the
Competition Act. The fine exceeds what was the
highest fine ordered by a court in Canada for a bid-rigging offence
under the Competition Act, namely the $5 million fine
imposed upon Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd. ("Furukawa") on
April 4, 2013 in a separate auto parts investigation.
According to the Competition Bureau's press release, the
evidence shows that Yazaki secretly conspired with other Japanese
motor vehicle components manufacturers to submit bids or tenders in
response to requests for quotations to supply automobile
manufactures with motor vehicle components. In particular, the
guilty plea relates to wire harnesses supplied to automobile
manufactures. Yazaki's reported total volume of commerce in
Canada affected by the bid-rigging conspiracy was approximately
US$260 million. The Competition Bureau's press release can be
According to the Competition Bureau, it became aware of the
motor vehicle components cartel by way of its Immunity Program. It
noted that Yazaki participated in the Bureau's Leniency Program
and provided substantial assistance to the Bureau and the Public
Prosecution Service of Canada.
Consistent Trend of Increased, Coordinated Enforcement
According to the Competition Bureau, it is engaged in an ongoing
investigation into the motor vehicle components industry. The
investigation is being coordinated with a number of other
jurisdictions, including the United States, Japan, the European
Union and Australia.
The unprecedented Yazaki and Furukawa fines underscore a number
of consistent trends:
global businesses are subject to increasing scrutiny by
Canada's Competition Bureau;
antitrust investigations, prosecutions, convictions and
sanctions are growing in Canada; and
antitrust investigations are increasingly global, with multiple
regulators investigating and prosecuting the same conduct, either
working together or in parallel.
The Canadian Competition Bureau issued a template document for use as a form of Consent Agreement, to be filed with the Competition Tribunal to resolve concerns the Bureau may have with proposed mergers.
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).