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Former executives from Panasonic Corp. (PC, 6752.TO) and from subsidiaries of Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) and Tecumseh Products Co. (TECUA) were indicted Tuesday on charges they conspired to fix prices on refrigerant compressors, the Justice Department announced.
The charges are the first against executives in the department's ongoing investigation of the industry. Both Panasonic and Whirlpool subsidiary Embraco North America Inc. pleaded guilty last year to related charges and paid a combined total of $140 million in fines.
Refrigerant compressors are used to cool refrigerators and freezers.
The defendants charged Tuesday are Ernesto Heinzelmann, former president of Whirlpool subsidiary Empresa Brasileira de Compressores S.A.; Gerson Verissimo, former president of a Tecumseh's Brazilian subsidiary; and Naoki Adachi, a former general manager in Panasonic's refrigeration devices division.
-By Brent Kendall, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-9222; email@example.com