Money Toyota supplier fined $46m in Australia's biggest ever cartel penalty

03:55  17 may  2018
03:55  17 may  2018 Source:   msn.com

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The illegal conduct affected the price of the wire harnesses in Toyota Camry 2006-11 models.© Supplied The illegal conduct affected the price of the wire harnesses in Toyota Camry 2006-11 models.

A Japanese car parts manufacturer has been hit with a massive $46 million penalty for cartel conduct after colluding with a competitor over the supply of wire harnesses used in Australian-made Toyota Camrys.

The penalty, delivered on Wednesday, is the biggest ever under Australian competition and consumer law.

The Japanese Yazaki Corporation was hit with the record fine for anti-competitive cartel conduct after Australia's Federal Court found the company had struck illegal arrangements with a competitor, Sumitomo Electric Industries, to coordinate quotes to Toyota for the supply of wire harnesses used in Toyota Camrys.

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We are distributors of OEM Nissan, Toyota , Mitsubishi parts, along with a huge range of brands including Driftworks, Nardi, Varrstoen, XXR, Aodhan, Tein, Tomei, Cusco, HKS, Advan, Rays. Quote Request. Fine Print. Copyright 2018 © Cartel Australia .

Yazaki was initially fined $9.5 million, but the Australian competition watchdog appealed the penalty last year, arguing it was too low.

Rod Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, argued Yazaki should have been ordered to pay a higher penalty of between $42 million and $55 million "to reflect both the size of Yazaki's operations and the very seriousness nature of its collusive conduct".

"We appealed the penalties imposed by the trial judge because we considered that the original penalties of $9.5 million were insufficient to adequately deter Yazaki or other businesses from engaging in cartel conduct in the future," Mr Sims said on Wednesday.

Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC, said the penalty was the highest ever handed down under Australian competition and consumer law.© Alex Ellinghausen Rod Sims, chairman of the ACCC, said the penalty was the highest ever handed down under Australian competition and consumer law. Yazaki is the world's biggest manufacturer of wire harnesses, the electrical systems that send power and signals to various parts of a vehicle. The company's illegal conduct, outlined in the case, affected the price of the wire harnesses used in the 2006-11 models of Toyota Camrys.

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"The conduct was deliberate, sophisticated and devious," Justice Anthony Besanko said in his ruling last year.

While most of the collusive conduct took place in Japan, the ACCC successfully argued that Yazaki was subject to local laws because it was conducting business in Australia.

Mr Sims on Wednesday said cartel conduct was illegal "because it not only cheats consumers and other businesses, it also restricts healthy economic growth".

"For this reason, it is of considerable importance that penalties imposed by the courts are large enough to act as a sufficient deterrent to prevent companies and their employees contravening Australia’s competition laws," he said.

The ACCC's action followed similar enforcement action against Yazaki and other cartel participants by competition regulators in the US, Canada, and Japan.

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