Ex-Taiwan manufacturing boss pleads guilty to price fixing

Michael P. Tremoglie Feb. 27, 2012, 12:00pm

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline) -- The former chairman of a Taiwan aftermarket auto lights manufacturer has pleaded guilty to price fixing charges.

The Department of Justice on Friday said Shiu-Min Hsu pleaded guilty to an international conspiracy to fix aftermarket auto light prices. These lights are installed into a car after the original sale. Usually they are used for repairs, upgrades or accessories.

According to the one-count felony charge filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, he participated in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition. The DOJ said that Hsu, former chairman of Depo Auto Parts Industrial Co. Ltd., was involved as early as April 2000 until about Sept. 3, 2008.

According to the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, Hsu has agreed to cooperate with the department's investigation.

"The international price-fixing conspiracy in the aftermarket auto lights industry caused harm to businesses and consumers," said Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "Including today's filing, five individuals and four corporations have been charged as a result of the Antitrust Division's efforts to thwart this type of anticompetitive activity."

According to the indictment, Hsu and co-conspirators participated in a conspiracy in which the participants met and agreed to charge prices of aftermarket auto lights at certain predetermined levels. The participants issued price announcements and price lists in accordance with the agreements reached.

They collected and exchanged information on prices and sales of aftermarket auto lights for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon prices. The DOJ said the conspirators met in Taiwan and the United States.

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