EU fines car component suppliers $155M over cartels

Companies co-ordinated prices or markets and exchanged sensitive information.

BRUSSELS — The European Union has fined six makers of car air conditioning and engine-cooling components a total $155 million for their involvement in supply cartels.

The EU’s executive Commission said Wednesday that the suppliers – Germany’s Behr, Japan’s Calsonic, Denso, Panasonic, Sanden, and France’s Valeo – all acknowledged their involvement in the cartels and agreed to a settlement.

The Commission said that there were four separate cartels involving the supply of components to various automakers. It found that the companies co-ordinated prices or markets and exchanged sensitive information at meetings or in “other collusive contacts in Europe and Japan,” by e-mail or phone.

Denso wasn’t fined over three of the cartels because it reported them to authorities, and Panasonic wasn’t fined over one of them for the same reason.

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