WASHINGTON Japan's Stanley Electric Co Ltd has agreed to pay a $1.44 million criminal fine and plead guilty to a charge that it conspired to fix the prices of certain auto parts, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday.
The company agreed to plead guilty to a single count of price-fixing of lamp ballasts, which regulate the electric current to create bright headlights. Stanley sold lamp ballasts to automakers in the United States and elsewhere.
The company has also agreed to cooperate with the U.S. investigation, the Justice Department said in a statement.
The Justice Department and antitrust enforcers elsewhere have brought charges related to price fixing of more than 30 types of car parts, including seat belts, radiators, windshield wipers, air-conditioning systems, power window motors and power steering components.
Including Stanley, 23 companies have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in connection with the U.S. probe. Twenty-six executives have been charged.
(Reporting by David Ingram and Diane Bartz; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Leslie Adler)