Seoul fines 4 firms over auto parts bid-rigging

Jiji PressSEOUL (Jiji Press) — South Korea’s fair trade commission has ordered four Japanese companies to pay fines totaling 9.2 billion won for bid-rigging over auto parts supplied to South Korean automakers, media reports said Sunday.

The four are Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd., Denso Corp. and Diamond Electric Mfg. Co.

On top of the fines, the commission filed criminal complaints with public prosecutors against Mitsubishi Electric and Hitachi Automotive Systems.

According to the Yonhap news agency, the antitrust watchdog initially planned to announce the punishments in July.

But it postponed the announcement as the South Korean government was seeking to resolve trade disputes between the two countries through dialogue.

Still, the commission made public the penalties after Japan eventually went ahead with its “economic retaliation” against South Korea, a senior official of the commission said.

On Friday, Japan made a Cabinet decision to remove South Korea from its list of trusted trading partners qualified for preferential treatment in export procedures. In early July, Japan tightened its export controls on South Korea for some semiconductor materials.Speech

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