The Competition Tribunal has confirmed, as an order, a consent agreement between the Competition Commission and Yazaki Corporation, incorporated under the company laws of Japan, in which Yazaki will pay an administrative penalty of R3.8-million.
This follows after the commission accused Yazaki of price fixing, market division and collusive tendering.
The commission had received information suggesting that Yazaki and two other Japanese companies, Sumitomo Electric Industries (Sumitomo) and Denso Corporation, had concluded an agreement and/or were party to concerted practices to fix the prices that they would quote to original-equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
In addition, the information also pointed to the parties attempting to divide markets and tender collusively in respect of requests for quotes (RFQs) in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to OEMs outside of South Africa.
An investigation undertaken by the commission found that the three firms were involved in 15 specific instances of cartel conduct between 2003 and 2009. These involved requests for quotes by vehicle manufacturers including Honda, Toyota and the Renault-Nissan purchasing organisation, mostly for the supply of wire harnesses used in various vehicle models.
The commission concluded that the conduct of the three firms constituted price fixing, market division and collusive tendering.
Although Yazaki has denied participating in such activities, it agreed to the settlement, which includes a requirement that it develop, implement and monitor a competition law compliance programme as part of its corporate governance policy in addition to paying the penalty.
The tribunal had previously confirmed a consent agreement between the commission and Sumitomo. Sumitomo had agreed to pay an administrative penalty of R437.278.38.