(Adds background on case)
WASHINGTON, April 16 A former sales manager for
Bridgestone Corp has agreed to plead guilty and serve
18 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy to fix the
prices of rubber anti-vibration devices used in automotive
suspension systems and engine mounts, the Justice Department
said on Wednesday.
In a separate action involving Bridgestone on Tuesday, one
executive and two other former executives were indicted for
conspiracy. Bridgestone itself agreed in February to plead
guilty to price-fixing and agreed to pay a $425 million criminal
Law enforcement authorities in the United States and
elsewhere have brought price-fixing cases related to more than
30 auto parts, including seat belts, radiators, windshield
wipers, air-conditioning systems, power window motors and power
The Justice Department said Yusuke Shimasaki, a former
Bridgestone sales manager, agreed to plead guilty to one felony
count of fixing the prices of products sold to Toyota Motor Corp
, Nissan Motor Co Ltd and Fuji Heavy Industries
Ltd, which makes Subaru cars.
"The charge today once again demonstrates the (Justice
Department) Antitrust Division's vigorous commitment to hold
individuals accountable for engaging in anti-competitive
conduct," said Brent Snyder, the deputy assistant attorney
general for criminal enforcement.
Julia Sutherland, a spokeswoman for Tokyo-based Bridgestone
confirmed Shimasaki had once worked for the company but had no
The case involves anti-vibration parts used in automotive
suspension systems and engine mounts.
Including Bridgestone, 26 companies have pleaded guilty or
agreed to plead guilty in the Justice Department's long-running
investigation of price-fixing in the auto parts industry.
Thirty-three people have been charged.
The case is at the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio, and is the United States of America v. Yusuke
Shimasaki. It is case No. 14-139.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Sandra Maler and Bill