DETROIT—The State of California has settled an auto parts price-fixing case against Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and four allied companies, the same day it filed suit in the case before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.
According to a document filed May 26, the state settled with Sumitomo according to terms of a settlement agreement dated July 11, 2016. The dismissal was with prejudice, meaning that California cannot refile the complaint, and the parties will pay their own attorneys' fees and costs, the document said.
The lawsuit was an outgrowth of the U.S. Justice Department's ongoing multidistrict litigation over price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging in the auto parts industry.
In its May 26 complaint, California accused Sumitomo Electric of price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging in the case of automotive wire harness systems, heater controls and related auto parts from approximately January 2000 until February 2010.
The State of California, California businesses and California consumers all paid millions of dollars over fair market price for those parts because of the conspiracy, the state alleged.
The settlement agreement settles Sumitomo Electric's case with the State of Florida as well as California. According to the document, Sumitomo Electric agrees not to engage in anti-competitive conduct, while not admitting to any wrongdoing.
Sumitomo Electric also agrees to pay California $833,333 and Florida $416,667 as part of the settlement.
Besides Sumitomo Electric Systems, the companies named in the suit were Sumitomo Wiring Systems Ltd.; Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems Inc.; K&S Wiring Systems Inc.; and Sumitomo Wiring Systems (U.S.A.) Inc.