DETROIT (Legal Newsline) — The Justice Department has announced Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha (Corning International K.K.) will pay $66.5 million to settle allegations it fixed prices, rigged bids and allocated the market for ceramic substrates sold in the United States.

 “Corning International K.K. – and Nobuhiko Niwa, its former executive, who was indicted last week – spent more than a decade colluding on sales of an important component of emissions systems for use in cars made and sold in the United States and elsewhere,” said deputy assistant attorney general Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “But they have now been held accountable for the competitive harm they caused.”

According to allegations, from as early as July 1999 until about July 2011, Corning International fixed bids on ceramic substrates that were installed in automotive emission control systems. These systems were then supplied to automobile manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors and Honda.

“Corning International K.K.'s conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices brought the company increased revenues at a cost to auto manufacturers, suppliers and, ultimately, consumers,” said special agent in charge David P. Gelios of the FBI’s Detroit Division. “Attempts to thwart the free market system are damaging to our economy and, thereby, its consumers, and will be actively investigated and prosecuted.”

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