Four Japanese ballbearing makers fined by CCS for price collusion

SINGAPORE - Four Japanese ballbearings makers and their Singapore units were hit with fines totalling $9.3 million for violations of the Competition Act.

This is the largest penalty to date assessed by the Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) and is the first international cartel case involving foreign-registered firms and their Singapore subsidiaries.

The parties include JTEKT Corp and its Singapore unit, Koyo Singapore Bearing; NSK and its local unit, NSK Singapore; NTN Corp and local unit NTN Bearing-Singapore and Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp and local unit, Nachi Singapore.

The CCS said the parties contravened Section 34 of the Act when they engaged in anti-competitive agreements and the unlawful exchange of information on the price and sale of ball and roller bearings sold to aftermarket customers including car workshops and distributors.

Separately, the four Japanese firms, which are all listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, were fined $160 million by the Japan Free Trade Commission, while the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission slapped A$5 million in fines on two firms.