Cartel Digest

Bearings

Bearings
  Overall Cartel Period 1998-2015
  Participants NSK Ltd. and NSK Korea Co., Ltd. (commercial sales, steel facilities, small-size bearings) JTEKT Corporation and JTEKT Korea Co., Ltd. (commercial sales, steel facilities) Nachi Fujikoshi Corp. (commercial sales) Schaeffler Korea Corporation (commercial sales) Hanwha (commercial sales) Minebea Co., Ltd. and NMB Korea Co., Ltd. (commercial sales and small sized ball bearings)
  Total Fines (DOJ) $13.5 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed
In 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the “KFTC”) determined to file charges against nine Japanese and German bearing suppliers and impose a penalty surcharge of 77.8 billion won in total for engaging in price-fixing of bearings for commercial sales, bearings for steel facilities and small-sized bearings.  Bearings for commercial sales consist of approximately 4,000 standard types of bearings which are used for industrial machinery and sold through distributors.  Bearings for steel facilities are large and medium sized bearings which are used for steelmaking and steel mill facilities.  Small-size bearings are bearings with an internal diameter of 3 centimeters or less which are used to produce electrical and electronic goods.  According to the KFTC, the bearings suppliers agreed on, among other things, the sales price increase rates and timing of commercial sales, adherence to existing market shares of bearings for steel facilities and price fixing of small-size bearings from 1998 to 2012.

In the United States, one company has pleaded guilty for their participation in the cartel and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) imposed a fine of $13.5 million.
 
Enforcement Highlights:
  • The KFTC imposed fines totaling over ₩ 77.8 billion.
  • The DOJ imposed fine of $13.5 million against one company which had pleaded guilty.
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Minebea Co. Ltd. 1/08-1/11 $13.5 million 02/01/2015  
China
Company Fine Date
Nachi-Fujikoshi Corp. No fines imposed 08/15/2014
NSK Ltd. ¥ 174.9 million 08/15/2014
NTN Corporation ¥ 119,160 08/15/2014
JTEKT Corporation ¥ 109.3 million 08/15/2014