WASHINGTON May 21 Two executives at Japan's
Denso Corp have agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to
fix prices of electronic auto parts sold to Toyota and will
cooperate with an ongoing criminal investigation, the U.S.
Justice Department said on Tuesday.
The settlement is the latest in a wide-ranging investigation
into price fixing for a variety of car parts that has ensnared
nine companies and elicited guilty pleas from 14 executives.
The Denso executives, Yuji Suzuki and Hiroshi Watanabe, both
Japanese nationals, will serve time in U.S. prison and pay a
criminal fine, the department said. Suzuki agreed to serve a
16-month sentence while Watanabe negotiated 15 months.
Denso itself pleaded guilty in the conspiracy and agreed to
pay a $78 million fine last year.
The two men agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix the
prices of heater control panels that regulate a car's
temperature and were sold to Japan's Toyota Motor Corp
and a U.S. subsidiary, the Justice Department said.
Suzuki also agreed to plead guilty to conspiring to fix the
prices of electronic control units, which regulate power
windows, power locks and other electrical systems.
In addition to the prison sentence, each man must also pay a
fine of $20,000 and cooperate with the ongoing investigation.
The Justice Department's Antitrust Division has also settled
with Autoliv, Tokai Rika Co Ltd, TRW
Deutschland Holding GmbH, Nippon Seiki Col Ltd, Fujikura Ltd
, Furukawa Electric Co Ltd, Yazaki Corp and
The European Commission has a parallel investigation under