ACCC WANTS MUCH BIGGER FINE FOR YAZAKI

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has appealed the Federal Court of Australia’s decision to fine Yazaki Corporation $9.5 million for collusive conduct, arguing that the amount of the fine should be significantly greater.

ACCC Chairman, Rod Sims, stated that in the ACCC’s view Yazaki should be fined between $42 and $55 million for its collusive conduct. According to the ACCC, increasing the penalties by five to six times the original decision would be justified having regard to “the size of Yazaki’s operations and the very serious nature of its collusive conduct”, as well as the need for the penalties to serve as a strong deterrent to companies from breaking Australia’s competition laws.

On 9 May 2017, The Federal Court of Australia ordered Yazaki to pay penalties totalling $9.5 million for conduct Justice Besanko described as “deliberate, sophisticated and devious”. The collusive conduct with a competitor was found by the Federal Court to include coordinating quotes to Toyota for the supply of electronic wiring harnesses used in the manufacture of the Camry.

Yazaki is the parent company of Australian Arrows Pty Ltd.

In November 2015, the Federal Court found that Yazaki had engaged in collusive conduct including the coordination of quotes to Toyota in Australia between 2003 and 2008, in a case brought by the ACCC. Justice Besanko said the collusion included “the manipulation of prices and components of prices so as to avoid arousing suspicion”.

Even though Yazaki’s unlawful conduct took place in Japan, the Court found Yazaki to be subject to Australian law on the basis that it was carrying on a business in Australia at the relevant times.

Yazaki was also ordered to pay 85% of the ACCC’s costs of the Federal Court proceedings.
The ACCC’s appeal will be heard on a date to be fixed by the Full Federal Court.

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