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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Panasonic fined $4.7M for conspiring against Toyota Canada in bid-rigging scheme

OTTAWA - Panasonic Corp. has been fined $4.7 million by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice after pleading guilty to two counts of bid-rigging involving motor vehicle parts.

The federal Competition Bureaus said Thursday that Panasonic conspired with another Japanese motor vehicle components manufacturer when responding to requests for bids from Toyota Canada.

The two companies both co-ordinated their responses and agreed on which party would win bids to supply components such as turn switches, wiper switches, steering wheel switches and steering angle sensors, it said.

There was no allegation of wrongdoing against Toyota.

"Today's guilty plea is another example of the bureau's commitment to pursue those involved in cartel conduct, wherever they are located," Commissioner of Competition John Pecman said.

"Cracking down on cartel offences remains a top priority for the bureau," he added.

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