Toyota supplier fined $9.5m for price collusion

15 May 2017

A Japanese supplier to Toyota in Australia has been fined nearly $9.5m for colluding with another company to hike prices.

Yazaki Corporation was found by the federal court to have engaged in collusive conduct with a competitor when supplying wire harnesses to Toyota Motor Corporation in Australia.

Yazaki was found to have agreed prices with its competitor Sumitomo Electric Industries after Toyota issued requests for quotation in 2003 and 2008 for the supply of wire harnesses for the Toyota Camry.

Justice Besanko said: “Yazaki’s conduct bore upon substantial financial transactions between substantial corporations in Australia, one of which provided goods to members of the Australian public.

“The conduct was deliberate, sophisticated and devious. It included the manipulation of the prices and the components of the prices so as to avoid arousing suspicion.”

The case was brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), which expressed disappointment at the size of the fine.

“The ACCC had submitted that significantly higher penalties were appropriate in this case having regard to the seriousness of the conduct, together with Yazaki’s size and substantial turnover related to its Australian operations,” said Delia Rickard, ACCC acting chair.

“It is important that penalties imposed for anti-competitive conduct act as a sufficient deterrent to contravening Australia’s competition laws. In that context, the ACCC will carefully consider the judgment.”

Yazaki was also ordered to pay 85% of the ACCC’s costs.

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