Prudential Insurance Co. will pay $19 million in restitution and penalties to settle an investigation of payments made to brokers to steer business its way, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s office said Tuesday.

The settlement came as part of a multiyear investigation of bid rigging and price fixing in the insurance industry. Spitzer has argued that “contingent commissions” paid to brokers and agents to steer business to insurance companies are the equivalent of kickbacks that unfairly increase the prices paid by insurance clients.