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Auto parts makers fined, executives go to prison for price fixing

Japanese suppliers will pay criminal fines of more than $500 million after being caught in a massive auto parts price-fixing scheme, and four Japanese executives will serve U.S. jail terms as part of a plea deal, the Department of Justice said.

Yazaki Corp. will pay a $470-million fine, the second-largest criminal fine obtained for a Sherman Act antitrust violation, the government said, while Denso Corp., agreed to pay a $78-million fine.

Regulators said that for as long as 10 years, the companies colluded to divvy up contracts to supply Honda Motor Co. and Toyota Motor Corp. in North America with electrical parts, wiring, gauges and fuel sensors. They drove up prices and blocked competitors from selling to the automakers.

The penalties come on top of a $200-million fine levied on Furukawa Electric Co. that sent three more Japanese executives to jail in November.;

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