Yazaki, Denso execs to take pay cuts due to price-fixing probe

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DETROIT (Jan. 31, 1 p.m. ET) — On top of the of the $548 million in fines issued by the U.S. Department of Justice Monday, executives from Denso Corp. and Yazaki Corp. will take temporary pay cuts due to their involvement in global antitrust investigations.

Denso, in a statement Monday, said its top executives, including Chairman Koichi Fukaya and CEO Nobuaki Katoh, along with board members, will voluntarily return 10 percent to 30 percent of their compensation for a three-month period, starting next month.

Yazaki Corp. Chairman Yasuhiko Yazaki and President Shinji Yazaki will return 50 percent of their salary over a three-month period.

It’s unclear whether any local executives or board members plan on returning salary.

Denso said its $78 million fine will not affect its financial forecast for its fiscal year, ending March 31, but will be recorded in the next fiscal year.

The two suppliers plan to plead guilty for involvement in antitrust activities involving their global wire harness businesses.

Yazaki has already agreed to pay a $470 million criminal fine — the second largest criminal fine obtained for a Sherman Act antitrust violation — and two of the four executives will enter guilty pleas and could serve terms ranging from 15 months to two years in federal prison under their agreement with Justice.

Denso, which houses its Denso International America Inc. subsidiary headquarters in suburban Detroit, will also plead guilty and pay an additional $78 million in fines.

In February 2010, the Japan Fair Trade commission raided the offices of Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd., in the start of a global probe. Furukawa pleaded guilty and agreed last September to pay fines of $200 million.

The combined pleas on the three companies make the sum of cumulative payments so far among the largest Justice has ever collected in an antitrust case. The probe continues to involve additional companies on four continents.