TOKYO (Feb. 22, 2008) — The Japan Fair Trade Commission has issued a cease-and-desist order against five manufacturers of rubber marine hose, demanding that they stop colluding to rig bids and fix prices in the Japanese marine hose market.
The agency also ordered Bridgestone Corp., the one Japanese firm named in the order, to pay a surcharge of approximately $22,000.
"We will redouble our efforts to achieve and sustain compliance with all laws to meet our legal and moral requirements so as to recover the confidence of our stakeholders," Bridgestone said, adding that it would review the order and decide how best to proceed.
The other companies named in the order were Dunlop Oil and Marine Ltd., of the United Kingdom; two Italian firms, Manuli Rubber Industries S.p.A. and Parker Industries S.R.L.; and Trelleborg Industries S.A.S. of France.
The order was part of the international investigation of a price-fixing conspiracy among makers of rubber marine hose, which is used to transfer oil between tankers and storage facilities and/or buoys.
Five former executives from Dunlop and Trelleborg have pleaded guilty in a U.S. criminal case regarding marine hose price fixing, while other executives including current and former officials of Parker, Manuli and Bridgestone either face trial or remain under indictment.