Stoll Berne files antitrust class action against auto wire harness manufacturers

Posted on: March 8th, 2012 by Steve Larson
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Oregon resident, Paul Gustafson, and several other end-users of automobile wire harnesses have filed class actions in Michigan against American Furukawa Inc., Delphi Automotive LLP, Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., Lear Corp., Leoni AG, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd., S-Y Systems Technologies GMBH, Yazaki Corp., and Yazaki North America Inc.

The class actions arise out of an alleged long-running conspiracy from at least January 1, 2000, through at least January 1, 2010, among the Defendants and their co-conspirators, with the purpose and effect of rigging bids for and fixing, raising, maintaining and stabilizing prices of automotive wire harnesses and related products sold indirectly to the Plaintiff and other indirect purchasers throughout the United States.

Two defendants have already admitted to the existence of the conspiracy and their role in it.  These Defendants have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges of participating in a price fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy regarding automotive wire harness systems.

The cases have all been transferred to the Eastern District of Michigan by an MDL panel.

The complaint alleges that Defendants and their co-conspirators formed an international cartel illegally to restrict competition in the automotive wire harness and related products market.  The conspiracy included communications and meetings in which the Defendants agreed to eliminate competition and to rig bids for, and to fix the prices of automotive wire harnesses and related products.  The complaint alleges plaintiffs and class members have been injured in their business and property by paying more for automotive wire harnesses and related products than they would have otherwise have paid in the absence of the Defendants’ conspiracy.

Mr. Gustafson is represented by Stoll Berne.