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Reading Summary - Auto Keiretsu Wracked by Antitrust Probes.docx

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Western University
Geography 3422A/B
Milford Green

Auto Keiretsu Wracked by Antitrust Probes 3/24/2013 12:58:00 PM Auto Keiretsu Wracked by Antitrust Probes  Japan's auto industry keiretsu, networks of parts suppliers closely allied with companies including Toyota and Honda, appeared as a black box to outsiders o There was a lot going on behind the scenes and some of it wasn't legal  Some areas of the Japanese auto-parts business were rife with bid rigging and collusion o The cases haven't attracted a lot of attention, but a US official calls the probe the "largest price-fixing investigation ever" by number of companies and executives involved  Prosecutors claim the mostly Japanese but also German and Swedish firms conspired to boost the costs of some of the best- selling vehicles on the road  There has been quiet pushback from industry officials in Japan who dispute prosecutors' contentions that US and other consumers paid more for their cars because of the antitrust violations o They say that any collusion was more of a bid for survival than for outsize profits  Japanese auto makers see keiretsu as a way to ensure quality over  the long term by building trusted relationships with suppliers o The brand-name companies often own significant stakes in keiretsu parts makers and enjoy the right of first refusal
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