On November 8, 2016, Japanese auto parts manufacturer Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. (“Usui”) pled guilty to charges related to its role in an antitrust conspiracy involving automotive steel tubes.  Usui agreed to pay a criminal fine of $7.2 million.  According to the charging instrument, Usui participated in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids for automotive steel tubes.  These steel tubes are sold to automobile manufacturers, in the United States and elsewhere, for use in fuel distribution, braking, and other automotive systems.  According to the charges, Usui was involved in the conspiracy from at least December 2003 until July 2011.  Maruyasu Industries Co. Ltd.; Maruyasu’s wholly owned U.S. subsidiary, Curtis-Maruyasu America Inc.; and executives Tadao Hirade, Kazunori Kobayashi, Satoru Murai and Yoshihiro Shigematsu were previously indicted in connection with this conspiracy on June 15, 2016.  This case is part of the Antitrust Division’s ongoing investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry, which has led to charges against 47 companies and 65 executives as well as more than $2.9 billion in criminal fines. DOJ Press Release