As part of an investigation on price-fixing allegations, the offices of Toyota Group supplier Denso Corp. were raided by Japanese fair trade regulators. In a brief statement, Denso confirmed the probe related to Japan’s anti-monopoly act and the “sales of certain automotive components.”
Officials from the Japan Fair Trade Commission entered Denso’s world headquarters in the city of Kariya, outside Nagoya. These officials also visited several other sales offices in the country.
Denso stated that it is cooperating with the investigation. This raid is part of a bigger probe that is meant to target Denso and six other parts makers over allegations that they had been colluding since 2002 to establish prices and select which companies would win contracts before bidding from automakers, according to a report from Japan’s Kyodo News Agency.
The other firms that are covered by the probe are Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., Calsonic Kansei Corp., Mitsuba Corp., T.RAD Co. and Denso subsidiary Asmo Co.
It’s suspected that this cartel sought to fix prices on windshield wipers, radiators, engine starters and alternators. Denso, which is the No. 2 auto parts maker in the world, is 23 percent owned by Toyota. It wasn’t made clear if this investigation is associated with a 2010 FBI antitrust investigation into the U.S. operations of Denso and Yazaki Corp. and Tokai Rika Co.