DETROIT -- Canadian supplier Magna International Inc., one of the world's biggest auto-parts makers, said it was cooperating with a U.S. Department of Justice anti-trust investigation of the automobile tooling industry.
Magna, in a statement, said the Justice Department had requested documents related to various tooling bids, including a tooling program for which a subsidiary within its Cosma International operating unit acted as tier 1 tooling supplier.
Anti-trust regulators in the United States, Europe and Japan have been stepping up their scrutiny of the U.S. automotive supply chain in recent months.
Last month, Japanese supplier Furukawa Electric Co. announced it would pay a $200 million fine, and three of its executives will appear before a judge in U.S. District Court in Detroit to plead guilty for their role in alleged global price-fixing among automotive wire-harness suppliers on three continents.
The Justice Department confirmed the fine was the largest judgment that its antitrust division has obtained from a Michigan prosecution or an automotive company -- and it could rank among its top 10 fines of all time.
Furukawa's North American subsidiary, American Furukawa, was the target of a 20-month investigation, but the FBI -- and regulators in Japan and Europe -- also raided several other suppliers in relation to antitrust regulations.
In February 2010, Japan's Fair Trade Commission raided the Tokyo offices of Furukawa, Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. and Yazaki Corp. as part of an expansive investigation into alleged collusion dating back to at least 2003.
Around the same time, FBI agents raided the North American headquarters of Japanese subsidiaries Yazaki North America Inc. in Canton Township, Denso International America Inc. in Southfield and Tokai Rika Group North America in Plymouth Township.
The European Commission also conducted similar unannounced inspections of auto safety products maker TRW Automotive Inc.'s and seating supplier Lear Corp.'s offices in Europe.
Magna ranks No. 5 on the Automotive News list of the top 100 global suppliers with worldwide sales to automakers of $23.6 billion in 2010.
Crain's Detroit Business staff and Philip Nussel contributed to this report.