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Posted on Wed, May 15, 2013 : 4:32 p.m.

Tecumseh Products agrees to pay $7M in price-fixing settlement

By Ben Freed

Pittsfield Township-based Tecumseh Products Co., along with units of Benton Harbor-based Whirlpool Corp., as well as a division of a Danish parts-supplier, agreed Wednesday to a settlement in a price-fixing lawsuit. The settlement will cost Tecumseh approximately $7 million, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit Business.


Tecumseh Products operates a technical center in Pittsfield Township.

Lizzy Alfs |

The lawsuit, which was consolidated before U.S. District Judge Sean Cox in 2009, centers on a secret meeting between executives of the companies as well as Panasonic Corp., and an Italy-based components company. According to Crain’s, the group allegedly met at a hotel in 2004 as part of a conspiracy to inflate the price of compressors.

Crain’s reported the settlement totaled $41 million and must be approved by Judge Cox before it is implemented. Tecumseh’s portion represents 2.7 percent of the company’s sales between February 2005 and December 2008.

Tecumseh Products has had an eventful 2013 thus far. The company’s chairman resigned in January and operations were shifted to a new Pittsfield Township headquarters in February.

The company’s stock (NASDAQ: TECUA) began the year trading at $4.78 per share and rising quickly from mid-January until the end of February has held relatively steady at approximately $8.50 per share since early March.

Ben Freed covers business for You can sign up here to receive Business Review updates every week. Reach out to Ben at 734-623-2528 or email him at Follow him on twitter @BFreedinA2


Nicholas Urfe

Wed, May 15, 2013 : 9:14 p.m.

Executives rarely, if ever, go to jail. The fines the corporations pay, if they ever get caught, are just considered the cost of doing business.


Thu, May 16, 2013 : 12:18 p.m.

those costs were passed on to the consumer. If they cannot do business without conspiring to fix prices (ie: avoid the free market) then they should be fined. I would love to see someone spend a month in jail, corporations being people and all. Rules, and their enforcement, are what separate us from places like Sudan.

Basic Bob

Thu, May 16, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

No one was injured. Some other "corporations" paid a little more for compressors than they might if they were willing to substitute a different manufacturer into their design. In any case it is considered to be unethical in the United States, and paying fines is the correct punishment. Fines like these have the unintended consequence of moving companies overseas where they are immune from U.S. government regulations. Lower profits have the unintended consequence of closing factories employing American workers into lower cost countries.