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Japanese bearings company fined $4.5M after guilty plea in bid-rigging scheme

GATINEAU, Que. - Japanese bearings manufacturer NSK Ltd. has been fined $4.5 million for its role in an international bid-rigging scheme.

The Competition Bureau said NSK pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of bid-rigging under the federal Competition Act in Quebec Superior Court.

The plea is related to automotive wheel hub unit bearings it supplied to Toyota Motors Canada between 2007 and 2013.

The bureau said there was no allegation of wrongdoing against Toyota Canada.

In July, another bearings manufacturer JTEKT Corp. also pleaded guilty to two counts of bid-rigging and was fined $5 million as part of the same case.

The Competition Bureau said it became aware of the bearings cartel through its immunity program.

Under the Competition Act, it is a criminal offence for two or more bidders to agree on bids submitted, to agree that one party will refrain from bidding, or to agree that one party will withdraw a submitted bid without informing the person calling for the bids of this agreement.

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