Posts Tagged With Antitrust / Competition

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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
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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
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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
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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,
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Serious Fraud Office Charges Trader In Euribor Scheme

On December 21, the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office charged Stephane Esper, a former Societe Generale trader, with allegedly manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate, a key benchmark for European banks known as the Euribor.  Esper is the 11th individual charged in an ongoing investigation of Euribor manipulation, but the first to date at Societe Generale; the others charged so far have been at Deutsche Bank and Barclays.
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Two Former Rabobank Traders Convicted for Manipulating U.S. Dollar, Yen LIBOR Interest Rates

On November 5, a federal jury convicted two former Rabobank traders of manipulating the London InterBank Offered Rates (LIBOR), the benchmark interest rate to which trillions of dollars are tied.  LIBOR is set by submissions from leading banks.  According to evidence at trial, the two former derivatives traders—Anthony Allen and Anthony Conti—on several occasions manipulated Rabobank’s submission in order to benefit traders’ positions.  In addition to Allen and Conti, three other former Rabobank employees have
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Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell Speaks at SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society New York Regional Seminar

On November 2, Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell emphasized the importance of robust corporate compliance programs when she spoke at a roundtable of compliance professionals.  AAG Caldwell explained that prosecutors consider the strength of a company’s compliance program when deciding whether to bring criminal charges against it, and she provided some guidance about what an effective compliance program looks like.  AAG Caldwell noted that compliance programs could be tailored to the risks faced
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Three Japanese Auto Parts Executives Indicted for Bid-Rigging Conspiracy Involving Body Sealing Products Installed in U.S. Cars

On October 8, a grand jury returned an indictment against one former and two current Japanese automotive executives for their alleged participation in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for the sale of automotive body sealing products sold in the United States.  The indictment alleged that the defendants instructed subordinates at their respective companies to communicate with co-conspirators at other companies to allocate sales of, rig bids for and fix the prices of
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Three Ocean Shipping Executives Indicted for Fixing Prices and Rigging Bids

On October 6, three former ocean freight executives were indicted for participating in a long-running price-fixing conspiracy.  These executives—Yoshiyuki Aoki, Masahiro Kato and Shunichi Kusunose—were charged with allocating customers and routes, rigging bids and fixing prices for the sale of international ocean shipments of roll-on, roll-off cargo to and from the United States and elsewhere, including the Port of Baltimore.  The affected cargo included cars, trucks, construction equipment and agricultural equipment.  U.S. v. Aoki,
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NGK Insulators Ltd. to Pay $65.3 Million for Fixing Prices on Auto Parts

On September 3, NGK Insulators Ltd. agreed to plead guilty and pay a $65.3 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for a part used in catalytic converters in automobiles.  The parts at issue, catalytic converter substrates, were sold to automobile manufacturers, including General Motors Company and Toyota Motor Company.  NGK Insulators also agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice for allegedly deleting electronic and hard-copy
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NEC Tokin Corporation to Plead Guilty and Pay $13.8 Million for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors

On September 2, NEC Tokin Corporation agreed to plead guilty and pay a $13.8 million criminal fine for conspiring with its competitors between 2002 and 2013 to fix the prices of electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere.  Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engines and home appliances.  Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer referred to the agreement as “our first guilty plea in
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Former UBS Trader Appeals Denial of Motion to Dismiss Criminal Charges

On August 12, Roger Darin, the former UBS trader who has been charged with antitrust violations for allegedly helping to rig the LIBOR rate, appealed District Judge Paul Crotty’s denial of his motion to dismiss the charges against him.  Darin, a Swiss citizen, has remained outside the reach of U.S. law enforcement in Switzerland, which does not extradite its citizens to the United States; Judge Crotty ruled that the fugitive disentitlement doctrine bars Darin’s motion
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Three Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Stock Manipulation Scheme

On July 21, Gery Shalon, Joshua Samuel Aaron, and Ziv Orenstein were charged with orchestrating a scheme to manipulate the price and volume of traded shares in several publicly traded stocks.  The defendants allegedly manipulated trading in U.S. securities from overseas, using fake identities to funnel millions of dollars in unlawful proceeds through a web of international shell companies.  Allegedly, they manipulated the prices of publicly traded penny stocks to enable the members of the
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Five Banks Agree to Parent-Level Guilty Pleas

On May 20, five major banks—Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (“JPMorgan”), Barclays PLC (“Barclays”), The Royal Bank of Scotland plc (“RBS”), and UBS AG (“UBS”)—pled guilty to felony charges related to conduct in the foreign currency exchange (“FX”) spot market.  Citicorp, JPMorgan, Barclays, and RBS pled guilty to conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for U.S. Dollars and Euros exchanged in the FX spot market.  They agreed to pay fines to DOJ totaling over
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Current and Former Executives of an Automotive Parts Manufacturer Indicted for Role in Conspiracy to Fix Prices

On May 14 and again on May 21, Detroit federal grand juries returned one-count indictments against executives of Japanese automotive parts manufacturers for their participation in conspiracies to fix prices and rig bids of automotive parts.  The indictments charge Michitaka Sakuma, former executive of T.RAD Co. Ltd. (“T.RAD”), as well as Hisashi Nakanishi and Norio Teranishi, current and former executives of NGK Spark Plug Co. Ltd. (“NGK Spark Plug”), respectively.  Both T.RAD and NGK Spark
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Deutsche Bank Subsidiary Agrees to Plead Guilty in Connection with LIBOR Manipulation

On April 23, DB Group Services (UK) Limited, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, and Deutsche Bank entered into a deferred prosecution agreement for their roles in manipulating the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR).  AAG Caldwell and AAG Bill Baer jointly announced the resolution.  Collectively, they will pay $775 million in criminal penalties.  According to the agreements, Deutsche Bank derivatives traders requested that LIBOR submitters at various banks submit
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Attorney General Holder Delivers Remarks at 63rd Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law

On April 17, Attorney General Holder addressed the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, emphasizing the Obama administration’s commitment to enforcing the country’s antitrust laws and reviewing the Department’s achievements over the last six years.  Holder noted that over the course of the Obama administration, the Antitrust Division had prosecuted 385 individuals and 129 corporations, obtaining more than $5 billion in fines and penalties.  He explained that the Department had undertaken the largest
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Robert Bosch GmbH Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing and Bid Rigging on Automobile Parts Installed in U.S. Cars

On March 31, the world’s largest independent parts supplier to the automotive industry agreed to plead guilty and to pay a $57.8 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for spark plugs, oxygen sensors, and starter motors sold to automobile and internal combustion engine manufacturers.  According to the government, Robert Bosch sought to fix the price of spark plugs and oxygen sensors sold to DaimlerChrysler AG, Ford
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Ocean Shipping Executives Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing on Ocean Shipping Services for Cars and Trucks

On March 10 and March 26, two executives of Japan-based shipping companies pled guilty to conspiring to fix prices, allocate customers, and rig bids of international ocean shipping services for roll-on, roll-off cargo, such as cars and trucks, in the Port of Baltimore and elsewhere in the United States.  Susumu Tanaka, a general manager at Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (“NYK”), was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment and a $20,000 fine, and Toru Otoda of Kawasaka
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Former UK Rabobank Derivatives Traders Plead Guilty and Are Arraigned on LIBOR Charges

On March 23, Lee Stewart, a former senior derivatives trader at Rabobank, pled guilty for his role in a scheme to manipulate the U.S. Dollar and Yen London InterBank Offered Rate (“LIBOR”).  At the relevant time, LIBOR, a published benchmark interest rate, was an average interest rate that was calculated based on submission from banks.  For the U.S. Dollar and Yen currency, the calculation was based on submissions provided by 16 banks, including Rabobank.  As
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Remarks of Acting Deputy Attorney General Sally Quillian Yates

On February 24, Sally Quillian Yates, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, spoke at the National Association of Attorneys General Winter Meeting in Washington, D.C.  Yates spoke about the importance of the partnership between attorneys general and DOJ.  She discussed successful partnerships in areas such as cyber security and human trafficking.  She also highlighted their shared victory in an antitrust case against American Express as well as the resolution of a civil fraud case against Standard
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U.S. District Court Rules That American Express Violated Antitrust Laws

On February 19, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis ruled in DOJ’s favor in a civil antitrust suit, finding that American Express’s rules for merchants violate the Sherman Act.  DOJ and 17 state attorneys general had sued American Express, Visa Inc. and Mastercard International Inc, but Visa and Mastercard subsequently settled with DOJ.  The case against American Express was argued during a seven-week trial in the summer of 2014, in which DOJ claimed that American Express limited
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