The antitrust watchdog of South Korea slapped a joint fine worth 9.2 billion won (7.59 million dollar) on 4 makers of auto parts from Japan on charges of price-fixing in the last ten years.
On Sunday, The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) said that Mitsubishi Electric along with Hitachi Automotive Systems and Denso Corporation as well as Diamond Electric Mfg. had been scheming for fixing prices while selling the auto parts to local auto part makers which resulted in inflation of costs for the Korean customers.
Mitsubishi will have to pay the heaviest fine worth 8.09 billion won, whereas Hitachi had been fined 415 million won. Both of them were referred to the prosecution for being engaged in particularly serious wrongdoing. Diamond and Denso were fined 268 million won and 429 million won, respectively.
The FTC said that the Japanese makers had divvied up their clients from around the world prior to entering into the bids between the years 2004 and 2014. Hitachi assisted Mitsubishi in gaining the winning bid for supplying alternators to the Renault Samsung QM5. Similar bids were arranged for the Grandeur HG of Hyundai and K7 VG of Kia while Mitsubishi submitted a higher price for helping Denso to clinch the deal.
Denso has commanded the world’s largest share in the market of the alternator with 28.9 percent. Mitsubishi was announced the third-largest having a share of almost 14.3 percent.
The FTC announcement has come at a time when tensions are escalating between Seoul and Tokyo. Last Friday, Japan removed Korea from their list of countries which were enjoying the status of preferential trade, only a month after it had tightened the export controls of the high-tech materials that were essential for the key industries of Korea.