OTTAWA, May 4, 2012 — The Competition Bureau announced that Maxzone Auto Parts (Canada) Corp. (Maxzone Canada) pleaded guilty yesterday for its role in an international cartel involving the sale of aftermarket replacement automotive lights and was fined $1.5 million.
"Today's guilty plea sends a clear message that price-fixing activities will not be tolerated in Canada," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition.
"Price-fixing is a serious crime that deprives consumers of the benefits of competition, such as lower prices and product choice."
Following a Bureau investigation, Maxzone Canada admitted to implementing an agreement with competitors to set the price of aftermarket automotive replacement lights in Canada from January 2004 to September 2008. The products, mainly headlights and tail lights, were primarily purchased by auto parts supply companies in Canada for use as replacement parts.
Today's charges are the first to arise from this investigation and anyone with information relating to this cartel investigation is encouraged to contact the Bureau.
The Bureau's investigation benefitted from cooperation under the Bureau's Immunity and Leniency Programs. These programs create incentives for parties to address their criminal liability by cooperating with the Bureau in its ongoing investigation and prosecution of other alleged cartel participants.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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