Government says plea coming in price-fixing probe

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TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — The Justice Department says a former Bridgestone Corp. executive has agreed to plead guilty in an alleged price-fixing conspiracy.

The announcement Wednesday comes a day after a current Bridgestone executive and one other former company executive were indicted in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

Federal officials say the plea deal calls for the executive to serve 18 months in prison.

The Justice Department is conducting a wide-ranging investigation into price-fixing and bid-rigging in the parts industry. Twenty-six companies, including Tokyo-based Bridgestone, have pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty.

Court documents say Bridgestone participated in rigging bids and raising prices of automotive parts sold to car manufacturers.

Bridgestone has said some employees violated U.S. antitrust laws and it is confident those activities are no longer in place.

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