DETROIT — Two executives from a Japanese auto parts maker have admitted in a U.S. court that they conspired to fix prices of parts their company sold to auto companies, which may have raised car prices.
Employees Junichi Funo, 41, and Hirotsugu Nagata, 46, told a federal judge in Detroit Monday that they helped to set prices on automotive wiring harnesses that Furukawa sold to car manufacturers in the U.S. and other countries in a scheme the government said dates back more than a decade.
They both agreed to testify against other companies the government contends were involved in the scheme. The other companies were not identified during Monday’s court hearing, and prosecutor Kathryn Hellings would not comment.
Prosecutors have said the price-fixing probably raised car prices for consumers, but just how much is unclear. An industry analyst said last month that auto companies probably were overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars.
In court documents signed by both men, the government said it is investigating violations of federal antitrust laws in the sale of the harnesses and sensors that detect the angle of a car’s steering. The government alleges the conspiracy dates to January of 2000.
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