EU slaps $150 million cartel fine on car parts producers

BRUSSELS – The EU has slapped a $150 million fine on two Japanese car part producers for fixing prices for alternators and starters for over half a decade.

Melco will have to pay the biggest fine of 110.9 million euros, with Hitachi having to hand over 26.9 million euros. A third company, Denso, was not fined since it disclosed the case to the EU’s antitrust office.

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the three companies met at each other’s offices and in restaurants to skew the prices for consumers and limit competition among the producers. She said that even if the collusion happened outside of the 28-nation EU, her office would still pursue the case since EU consumers were hurt by artificially high prices.