* FTC says suppliers fixed prices on instrument panels,
* FTC fines auto parts suppliers total of $108 mln
* Two Denso Korean units face biggest fine
(Add comments from suppliers, details, background)
SEOUL, Dec 23 South Korea's anti-trust regulator
has fined the units of Denso Corp, Continental AG
and Bosch a total of 114.6 billion won
($107.99 million), saying they had fixed prices of parts sold to
Hyundai Motor Co.
The fine comes as antitrust regulators from the United
States to Europe and Japan crack down on price collusion among
auto parts makers. Among the components affected globally are
seat belts, radiators, windshield wipers, air-conditioning
systems, power window motors and power steering components.
South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said on Monday the
units of Denso, Continental and Bosch had rigged prices of
instrument panels and wipers sold to Hyundai and affiliate Kia
Motors. The vehicles affected were Hyundai's Sonata
(LF), Elantra (MD) and Kia's Pride (UB) and Carnival (YP).
Japan's Denso and a South Korean unit as well as
Continental's unit were involved in price-fixing of instrument
panels from January 2008 to March 2012. The panels were
installed on 11 million Hyundai and Kia vehicles, the FTC said.
Denso and a second Korean unit as well as Bosch's unit
colluded on the prices of wipers between August 2008 and
February 2009, the FTC said.
The two Denso units face the biggest fine of 63 billion won,
followed by Continental Automotive Electronics with 46 billion
won and the Bosch unit with 5.6 billion won.
A spokeswoman for Continental in South Korea said she has
not received any notice from the FTC on the fine, while
officials for Bosch and Denso here were also not immediately
available for comment.
The U.S. Justice Department and antitrust enforcers
worldwide have been probing price fixing of more than 30 car
parts in a probe that has involved 20 companies and 21
executives. The companies have agreed to pay a total of $1.6
billion in fines.
($1 = 1061.2000 Korean won)
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Ryan Woo)