South Korea’s corporate regulator, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), said on Sunday that it had decided to impose a total of 36 billion won ($32 million) in fines on nine Japanese companies because they were suspected of conspiring to maintain or increase capacitor prices.

According to the FTC, Tokin Corp and eight other Japanese companies jointly monopolized the price of capacitors sold in Korea and other countries between July 2000 and January 2014. The committee said that these companies share information to avoid excessive price cuts. These monopolistic behaviors have affected the price of capacitors sold to Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics and other Korean local electronics companies worth 373 billion won.

FTC said that Japanese manufacturers' capacitors account for 40% to 70% of the Korean local market. Antitrust regulators also said that they have been conducting investigations with Japan, the European Union, Taiwan and Singapore authorities since June 2014. The relevant fines can be traced back to December 2015, when Taiwan’s relevant regulators imposed a total fine of NT$ 5.8 billion on the nine Japanese companies and Taiwan Chemi-Con Corporation. In March of this year, the EU imposed a total fine of 254 million euros on the joint monopoly of the nine Japanese companies.