Posts Tagged With Antitrust / Competition

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E-Commerce Company and Top Executive Agree to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy for Customized Promotional Products / Second E-Commerce Company and its Top Executive Agree to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy in Customized Promotional Products Industry

Two e-commerce companies and their top executives pled guilty to conspiring to fix prices for customized promotional products sold online to U.S. customers.  On August 7, 2017, Zaappaaz Inc. (d/b/a WB Promotions Inc., Wrist-Band.com, and Customlanyard.net) pled guilty to conspiring to price fix, and its President Azim Makanojiya, pled guilty to criminally violating the Sherman Act.  According to the charges, conspirators used social media and encrypted messages to engage in illegal agreements to fix the ... Continue Reading

Three Former Traders for Major Banks Arraigned in Foreign Currency Exchange Antitrust Conspiracy

On July 17, 2017, three former foreign exchange traders, Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani and Christopher Ashton, voluntarily surrendered to the FBI and were arraigned for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to manipulate prices in the FX spot market.  The one-count indictment alleges that, from at least December 2007 through at least January 2013, the three traders conspired to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. dollars and euros exchanged on the FX spot market, ... Continue Reading

Nichicon Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors

On July 11, 2017, Nichicon Corporation agreed to plead guilty and pay a $42 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors, which store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products.  Nichicon Corporation conspired with others to suppress and eliminate competition of electrolytic capacitors from at least November 2001 until December 2011.  Nichicon Corporation is the seventh company to be charged as part of this ... Continue Reading

Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Civil Division Testifies Before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law at a Hearing on Oversight of the Civil Division

On June 8, 2017, Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler testified before the House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial & Antitrust Law.  During his prepared remarks, Readler discussed a number of topics, including national security, health and safety, various forms of financial fraud, and immigration actions.  According to Readler, the Civil Division and U.S. Attorneys recovered $4.7 billion under the False Claims Act in 2016, bringing the total amount recovered under the ... Continue Reading

Bumble Bee Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing

On May 8, 2017, Bumble Bee Foods LLC pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to fix the price of shelf-stable tuna fish from as early as the first quarter of 2011 through at least the fourth quarter of 2013.  Bumble Bee has agreed to pay a criminal fine of $25 million and to cooperate with the ongoing investigation of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.  Additionally, the criminal fine will increase to $81.5 million ... Continue Reading

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Delivers Remarks at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative Annual Conference

On April 24, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke at the Ethics and Compliance Initiative Annual Conference.  In his remarks, Sessions stated that he wanted to “make clear” that, under his leadership, “the Department of Justice remains committed to enforcing all the laws”  including “laws regarding corporate misconduct, fraud, foreign corruption and other types of white-collar crime.”  Sessions noted that he spent his “first weeks as Attorney General” making sure that the Department “strengthens its ... Continue Reading

Kiekert AG Agrees to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging Involving Auto Parts

On March 7, 2017, Kiekert AG, an automotive parts manufacturer based in Heiligenhaus, Germany, agreed to plead guilty in the Eastern District of Michigan and to pay a $6.1 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to rig bids of side-door latches and latch minimodules installed in cars in violation of the Sherman Act.  According to court documents, from September 2008 through May 2013, Kiekert participated in a conspiracy with another major auto ... Continue Reading

Foreign Currency Exchange Dealer Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy

On January 4, 2017 and January 12, 2017, Jason Katz and Christopher Cummins, respectively, each pled guilty to violating the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.  Katz and Cummins were foreign currency exchange (“FX”) dealers of Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African currencies at financial institutions, and their pleas are part of DOJ’s ongoing investigation into the FX market.  Katz was the first individual to plead guilty as part of that investigation.  Katz ... Continue Reading

Three Former Foreign Currency Exchange Traders Indicted for Antitrust Conspiracy

On January 10, 2017, a federal grand jury indicted Richard Usher, Rohan Ramchandani and Christopher Ashton with conspiring to fix prices and rig bids in the foreign currency exchange (“FX”) spot market.  During the time of the charged conduct, Usher worked at the Royal Bank of Scotland plc and later an affiliate of JPMorgan Chase & Co., Ramchandani worked at an affiliate of Citicorp, and Ashton worked at an affiliate of Barclays plc.  According to ... Continue Reading

Former Top Generic Pharmaceutical Executives Charged with Price-Fixing, Bid-Rigging and Customer Allocation Conspiracies

On December 14, 2016, Jeffrey Glazer and Jason Malek, the former CEO and President, respectively, of a generic pharmaceutical company were charged in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for their roles in conspiracies to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers to particular generic drugs, including the antibiotic doxycycline hyclate and the diabetes medication glyburide.  The doxycycline hyclate conspiracy allegedly took place from as early as April 2013 until at least December 2015, while the ... Continue Reading

Japanese Auto Parts Company Usui Agrees to Plead Guilty and Agrees to Pay $7.2 Million Criminal Fine in Connection with Antitrust Conspiracy

On November 8, 2016, Japanese auto parts manufacturer Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. (“Usui”) pled guilty to charges related to its role in an antitrust conspiracy involving automotive steel tubes.  Usui agreed to pay a criminal fine of $7.2 million.  According to the charging instrument, Usui participated in a conspiracy to fix prices, allocate customers and rig bids for automotive steel tubes.  These steel tubes are sold to automobile manufacturers, in the United States and ... Continue Reading

Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute

On November 3, 2016, Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse spoke at the Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute about the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement program.  Hesse began by describing the Antitrust Division’s record of successful prosecutions throughout the Obama Administration.  Hesse discussed the Antitrust Division’s emphasis on holding individuals accountable, stating that “looking back across the past eight years, the ratio of individual to corporate convictions is more than two to one—353 ... Continue Reading

Nine Individuals Indicted in Connection with Electrolytic Capacitor Price-Fixing Conspiracy

On November 2, 2016, a San Francisco grand jury indicted Tomohide Date, Satoru Miyashita, Yasutoshi Ohno, Masanobu Shiozaki, Kiyoaki Shirotori, and Takuro Isawa, who are executives at four different companies, for their roles in an alleged conspiracy to fix the price of electrolytic capacitors.  Isawa was originally indicted in connection with this case on March 12, 2015.  On December 15, 2016, three additional individuals, Takeshi Matsuzaka, Kaname Takahashi, and Tukuo Tatai were added in a ... Continue Reading

Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at Fordham Competition Law Institute’s 43rd Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy

On September 23, 2016, Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse spoke at the Fordham Competition Law Institute’s Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy in New York.  Hesse addressed the transition from “one-off exchanges of information to ongoing, mutually enriching relationships” in the context of cooperation between the United States and other international antitrust authorities, and discussed the benefits that have resulted from greater cooperation.  Hesse said that cooperation benefits not only enforcement agencies by ... Continue Reading

Alpha Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty for Price-Fixing and Bid-Rigging

On September 15, 2016, the Justice Department announced that Alpha Corporation, which is based in Japan, agreed to plead guilty for its role in a price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy involving automotive parts, specifically automotive access mechanisms.  The charge is part of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation in the automotive parts industry and Alpha is the 46th corporation to be charged as participating in the scheme.  The charge, filed in the Eastern District of Michigan, states ... Continue Reading

Three Companies Charged and Agree to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing

On August 22, Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co., Ltd. and Holy Stone Holdings Co. agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in San Francisco for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors.  As part of the plea, the companies have agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the ongoing investigation.  Two other companies, NEC TOKIN Corp. and Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd previously pled guilty to the same conspiracy earlier ... Continue Reading

Former Rabobank Derivatives Trader Pleads Guilty for Scheme to Manipulate LIBOR Benchmark

On July 7, Paul Thompson, a former Rabobank derivatives trader who worked in Hong Kong and Singapore as the bank’s Head of Money Market and Derivatives Trading for Northeast Asia, pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud for his role in a scheme to manipulate LIBOR to Rabobank’s advantage.  Communications showed that Thompson contacted Anthony Conti, formerly Rabobank’s primary U.S. Dollar LIBOR submitter, on multiple occasions about influencing the rate to ... Continue Reading

Two Former Deutsche Bank Employees Indicted on Fraud Charges in Connection with Long-Running Manipulation of LIBOR

On June 2, two former Deutsche Bank traders were charged in connection with their alleged roles in a scheme to manipulate the U.S. Dollar LIBOR.  A grand jury sitting in the Southern District of New York returned a 10-count indictment charging Matthew Connolly and Gavin Campbell Black with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud and nine counts of wire fraud for their participation in the illegal conduct.  In April 2015, ... Continue Reading

Hitachi Chemical Co. Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing

On April 27, Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. agreed to plead guilty and pay a criminal fine for conspiring with competitors between 2002 and 2010 to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors, which store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products.  As part of the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, Hitachi has also agreed to cooperate in DOJ’s ongoing investigation.  In January 2016, NEC TOKIN Corp. pled guilty to the same ... Continue Reading

Former President of Auto Parts Company Pleads Guilty to Participating in Body Sealing Products Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

On April 20, Keiji Kyomoto, the former president of a Japan-based automotive parts company, pled guilty and was sentenced to serve 18 months in prison for his role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for the sale of automotive body sealing products sold in the United States.  The guilty plea is the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into price-fixing, bid-rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the automotive parts industry, in ... Continue Reading

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Delivers Keynote Address at the 64th Annual American Bar Association Antitrust Law Spring Meeting

On April 6, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch delivered remarks at the ABA Antitrust Law Spring meeting.  Lynch said that DOJ’s Antitrust Division is being challenged by “an unprecedented swell of mergers coursing through the U.S. economy”—unprecedented not just in number, but in size and complexity.  She said that in 2015, there had been 67 proposed mergers valued at more than $10 billion—more than double the number from 2014.  She added that some of ... Continue Reading

Two Former Rabobank Traders Sentenced to Prison for Manipulating U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen LIBOR Interest Rates

On March 10, 2016, two former derivatives traders at Rabobank were sentenced to prison for manipulating LIBOR for two benchmark interest rates.  Anthony Allen, the bank’s former global head of liquidity and finance, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and Anthony Conti, a former senior trader on the bank’s money markets desk, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.  The evidence at trial showed that Allen oversaw a system in which Rabobank employees who ... Continue Reading

Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights

On March 9, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer rights on the recent work of the Antitrust Division and provided support for its request for an additional $16 million, $180 million in total funding, for the Antitrust Division for Fiscal Year 2017.  AAG Baer highlighted the $3.6 billion in criminal fines and penalties that the Division obtained the prior year, and noted that “a ... Continue Reading

Six Brokers Acquitted of LIBOR Rigging in London

On January 21 and 22, a London jury acquitted six brokers charged with helping former UBS trader Tom Hayes manipulate the London Interbank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”). Hayes was convicted last year in London and is currently serving his 11-year sentence.  The brokers argued that although they told Hayes that they would move the rate, they did not have the power to do so and were just trying to keep Hayes happy.  In fact, they argued, ... Continue Reading

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