EU Fines Auto Parts Producers Nearly $1.4B

BRUSSELS (AP) -- The European Union has fined two EU and four Japanese companies a total of nearly 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for rigging the market of key components in the car and truck industry at the expense of consumers.

EU Antitrust Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said Wednesday it was at least the third case of market rigging in the car industry that the EU had found so far. He said another half dozen investigations were ongoing in the sector.

Almunia said "it is incredible to see that one more car component was cartelized." He hoped "the fines imposed will deter companies from engaging in such illegal behaviour and help restore competition in this industry."

Both Schaeffler from Germany and SKF from Sweden were fined in excess of 300 million euros ($400 million).

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