Auto parts maker to pay fine in price-fixing case

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CINCINNATI (AP) -- The U.S. Justice Department says an auto parts manufacturer accused in a price-fixing conspiracy has agreed to plead guilty and pay a fine of $19.9 million.

Federal officials allege Showa Corp., based in Japan, had agreed to rig bids and fix prices for some powered steering assemblies sold to Honda Motor Co. and some of its subsidiaries.

Showa Corp. is charged in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati with one count alleging it participated in a conspiracy to suppress competition.

A Wednesday statement from the Justice Department says the plea agreement is subject to court approval.

The department is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into price-fixing and bid-rigging in the parts industry. Authorities say 27 companies and two dozen executives have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty as a result.