Exclusive: EU to fine Yazaki, Leoni, two other car parts makers - sources

Fri Jul 5, 2013 1:59pm EDT
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By Foo Yun Chee

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - EU antitrust regulators will next week penalize four car parts makers including Yazaki and Leoni (LEOGn.DE: Quote) for taking part in a cartel, three people familiar with the matter said on Friday, as part of a crackdown on price-fixing in the sector.

The sources said Yazaki subsidiary S-Y Systems Technologies Europe GmbH will also be fined, along with Furukawa Electric Co (5801.T: Quote).

Yazaki is the world's No. 1 maker of so-called wire harnessing systems, which power up the electronic components linking the vehicle's computers to various functions.

World No. 2 supplier Sumitomo Electric 5802.T will not face sanctions, as it alerted the Commission to the cartel, the people said.

The fines from the European Commission are expected to be the first of several against car parts suppliers, many of which are under investigation for fixing prices for products ranging from thermal systems to seat belts and ball bearings.

The penalties are expected to be substantially lower than those exacted by U.S. and Japanese antitrust regulators as the companies received a 10 percent cut on top of other discounts for admitting wrongdoing, the people said.

Japan and the United States have already imposed hefty fines on several parts suppliers, with more than 10 people serving jail terms in the United States.