SEJONG, Nov. 6 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s antitrust watchdog said Monday that it has levied a combined 37.1 billion won (US$33.2 million) in fines on three foreign auto parts firms for allegedly rigging bids.
Denso Korea Automotive Corp., an auto parts supplying unit of Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., and Hyundam Industrial Co. owned by Japan’s Aisan Industry Co. had been accused of colluding to participate in bids for engine fuel pumps arranged by South Korean carmakers from August 2007 to February 2009, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
Denso Korea and Delphi Powertrain Systems Korea Co., a local unit of U.S. Delphi Automotive, are also under suspicion for joining forces in separate tenders for a variable valve timing system between 2009 and 2012.
The FTC said they agreed to split the bids and help each other win the respective contracts, with others falsely taking part in the auctions in order to lower the bid prices.
Denso and Hyundam accounted for a combined 98 percent of South Korea’s fuel pump supply market as of 2015, said the watchdog.
Denso was fined 16.9 billion won and Hyundam was slapped with a fine of 16.8 billion won, while Delphi Powertrain was charged 3.39 billion won, according to the FTC.
The corporate regulator said it will tighten monitoring of bid rigging in all industrial sectors and make more efforts to root out such illegal practices.