A plead of guilty will be made before a federal judge in Detroit by three of Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd.’s executives over allegations of global price-fixing among automotive wire-harness suppliers on three continents. The Japanese supplier will also be paying a $200 million fine.
The charges were filed against Hirotsugu Nagata, Junichi Funo and Tetsuya Ukai. However, acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen said that this is merely the start of a broader ongoing probe of alleged deals to sell parts to other firms at a “noncompetitive, rigged price” for many years.
Pozen, who works at the antitrust division of the U.S. Department of Justice, said that what the company did was “pernicious” and was operated on a model-by-model basis.
He added that the scheme affected U.S. consumers and cars made in the U.S. Nagata, who was the former CFO of U.S. subsidiary American Furukawa Inc. in Plymouth from 2004 to 2009, is said to have violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and faces one federal charge of conspiracy to restrain trade. Ukai faces a similar charge. Ukai had held several management positions in Furukawa’s Honda sales division.
Meanwhile, Funo was the assistant general manager of Honda sales at American Furukawa until 2009 and later became the general manager of Honda sales at the parent company. The three of them will plead guilty and will serve time at U.S. prisons under a deal with the Justice Department. Under this agreement, Nagata will serve 15 months while Ukai will be imprisoned for 18 months. Funo will serve 12 months and one day.