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Bridgestone: Announcement of plea agreement with US Department of Justice regarding certain automobile parts

Bridgestone Corporation (“BSJ”) announced today that on February 13, 2014 (U.S. Eastern time) it entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”). Under the plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court, BSJ will plead guilty to an antitrust conspiracy with respect to the sale of … Continued

Bridgestone Corporation (“BSJ”) announced today that on February 13, 2014 (U.S. Eastern time) it entered into a plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”).

Under the plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the U.S. District Court, BSJ will plead guilty to an antitrust conspiracy with respect to the sale of anti-vibration rubber products for vehicles (“AVP”) and will pay a fine of US$425 million.

Since being informed of the investigation in May 2012, BSJ and its subsidiaries have been fully cooperating with the DOJ in connection with its investigation of the manufacturers of AVP. Through the investigation, BSJ became aware that certain employees had engaged in certain acts in violation of U.S. antitrust laws from 2001 to 2008. BSJ is confident that the activities which led to the charges ceased in 2008, following full implementation of Bridgestone’s global compliance initiative. In order to reestablish the trust of its customers and the many communities in which it does business, the Bridgestone Group will redouble its efforts to ensure full compliance with all relevant laws and regulations through enhanced education, training and regular internal reviews and assessments.

BSJ also announced that the inside members of its Board of Directors and certain of its corporate officers will forego their bonus payments which were scheduled to be made in March. In addition, representative board members and certain of its corporate officers would forfeit a portion of their compensation to underscore the company’s sincere regret for this incident. Also, BSJ will take appropriate disciplinary action against certain responsible employees in accordance with applicable corporate standards.

The management of the Bridgestone Group is fully committed to ensuring that its global operations and businesses are conducted in an ethical and legal manner. They sincerely regret the actions that resulted in this plea agreement and that they did not discover these activities at an earlier date.

As a result of entering into the plea agreement, BSJ will record a special loss of ¥44.79 billion for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2013. There will be no revision to BSJ 2013 consolidated financial projections as reported in August, 2013.

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