News Release

12th guilty plea in international bid-rigging conspiracy 

December 13, 2017 – OTTAWA, ON – Competition Bureau

Japanese car parts manufacturer NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd. (NGK) pleaded guilty today to one count of bid-rigging for participating in an international conspiracy and was fined $550,000 by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

A Competition Bureau investigation determined that NGK entered into illegal agreements with another supplier of spark plugs. The companies conspired to determine who would win certain calls for bids issued by the General Motors Company in 2005.

Since April 2013, Bureau investigations involving car parts have resulted in over $84.7 million in fines imposed by the courts in Canada.


The 12th guilty plea in this international bid rigging case is a testament to the Competition Bureau’s unwavering commitment to the promotion of a competitive and innovative marketplace for the benefit of Canadians. Cracking down on cartels is a top enforcement priority for the Bureau and we will continue to vigorously pursue those who participate in cartel activities.”

Rami Greiss,
Senior Deputy Commissioner of Competition

Quick Facts

  • A spark plug is a component installed into the cylinder head of a motor vehicle’s engine. The spark plug delivers an electrical spark to the engine’s combustion chamber where an air/fuel mixture is ignited.
  • The Bureau first learned of cartel activity in the car parts industry by way of its Immunity Program, which provides immunity from prosecution to the first party to disclose an offence or to provide evidence leading to the filing of charges.
  • These car parts investigations also benefitted from the cooperation of numerous companies under the Leniency Program, in which NGK participated. NGK also implemented a compliance program to prevent further contravention of the Competition Act.
  • The Immunity and Leniency Programs are the Bureau’s most effective tools for detecting and deterring secret cartel agreements.

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The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.