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U.S. Fines Hitachi $55.5 Million for Price-Fixing

CeBIT Technology FairCeBIT Technology Fair
A visitor walks by the Hitachi stand at the CeBIT technology fair March 15, 2007 in Hanover, Germany. Sean Gallup/ Getty Images/ File

Hitachi Automotive Systems (HTHIF) agreed to plead guilty to fixing the price of shock absorbers installed in U.S. autos and to pay a criminal fine of $55.48 million, the Justice Department said in a statement on Tuesday.

The plea agreement is the latest in a long-running international probe into price fixing of auto parts. With this agreement, 46 companies and 64 people have been charged in connection with the U.S. investigation, the department said.

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Hitachi had pleaded guilty in 2013 to fixing the price of starters and other auto parts, the department said.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Hitachi Automotive worked with unnamed competitors from the mid-1990s to 2011 to decide who would provide shock absorbers to which buyers and to coordinate prices.

Suzuki Motor (SZKMY) and Toyota Motor (TM) were the buyers, the complaint said.