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Auto parts executive pleads guilty to price fixing

DETROIT (AP) -- An executive at Japanese auto parts supplier Denso Corp. will serve a one-year prison sentence for price fixing.

The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that Norihiro Imai pleaded guilty to rigging bids and fixing prices on heater control panels. Imai will pay a $20,000 fine and cooperate with an ongoing investigation.

Imai is one of eight individuals and three companies charged in the government's investigation of the auto parts industry. Yazaki Corp., Furukawa Electric Co. and Denso have all pleaded guilty to the charges and were ordered to pay a combined $748 million in fines.

The government alleges that the companies sold parts to car companies at inflated prices for at least a decade. The investigation has been the largest in the history of the Justice Department's antitrust division.