An antitrust investigation into automotive wiring harnesses has spread across three continents and involves at least seven international auto suppliers.
Investigators from the FBI raided the U.S. headquarters of Denso Corp., Yazaki North America Inc. and Tokai Rika Group North America, including its Tram Inc. unit; the European Commission carried out “unannounced inspections” of companies in Europe; and Japan's Fair Trade Commission raided offices of Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd., Yazaki Corp. and Furukawa Electric Co.
The European Commission did not identify the companies involved in its search. But Lear Corp., of suburban Detroit, acknowledged that it is part of the investigation there, as did Leoni AG, of Germany. News outlets in Europe identified Leoni unit Leoni Kabel GmbH, of Roth, Germany, as a target.
The international investigation centers on wiring harnesses, the distribution system of cables and connectors that carry electronic information throughout the car.
“Wire harnesses are generally considered the central nervous system of a car, linking the car's computers to the various relevant functions in the vehicle,” the EC noted in its announcement yesterday about the investigation.