The United States charged two Japanese auto-parts companies and five executives with price-fixing Wednesday in a long-running investigation into illegal competitive practices in the parts industry.
A federal grand jury in Ohio indicted Tokai Kogyo and Maruyasu Industries and their US subsidiaries on charges of participating in international conspiracies to rig bids and fix prices in the sale of auto body sealing products and steel tubing, the Justice Department said in a statement.
A total of five executives were also charged in the scheme.
"We will not be deterred from holding those involved -- both corporations and individuals -- accountable for their actions, and we welcome the opportunity to prove our cases to a jury," said Brent Snyder, deputy assistant attorney in the Justice Department's antitrust division.
The department charged Tokai Kogyo and one executive with conspiring to rig bids and fix prices on automotive body sealing products for sale to Honda for cars made and sold in the United States.
In a separate indictment, Haruyasu and four executives were charged with price fixing and bid rigging for automotive steel tubes sold in the US and elsewhere.
The charges are the latest in the US government's sprawling crackdown on illegal competitive activity in the automotive parts industry, which has mainly hit Japanese parts companies.
To date, a total of 64 persons and 44 companies have been charged and have agreed to pay more than $2.7 billion in criminal fines, officials said.