Late last year, the US Department of Justice filed criminal antitrust charges against executives at four different Japanese electronic component manufacturers, for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors.
The common components are used in a variety of analog and digital circuits. In all, six people face charges of price-fixing and conspiracy. None of the executives were named in the DOJ announcement, and only one of the four companies was identified.
According to prosecutors, the conspiracy to fix prices remained in place for nearly 12 years, between November 2001 and September 2012. In addition to charging executives individually, the DOJ also charged five companies with participating in the conspiracy. NEC Tokin, Hitachi Chemical Company, Rubycon Corp., Elna Co. and Holy Stone Holdings Co., Ltd., all have announced that they have agreed to plead guilty to participating in the price-fixing scheme. NEC Tokin, Hitachi Chemical Company and Rubycon Corp., have also agreed to pay nearly $30 million in fines related to their participation in the conspiracy.
Los Angeles antitrust lawyer
Federal antitrust statutes are complex, since the law contains both criminal and civil penalties, and can be levied against individuals, corporate entities or both. One thing is clear, however. The number of criminal antitrust actions initiated by the federal government has significantly increased in the last decade.
The federal government rarely prosecutes cases without substantial certainty that it will prevail. Its current conviction rate exceeds 90%. If you’re facing a criminal antitrust charge for price-fixing, market allocation or bid-rigging, you need the assistance of an experienced antitrust lawyer like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend has practiced criminal defense exclusively for nearly 35 years and takes cases in any federal circuit in the US and state courts in Southern California.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County antitrust case.
Photo Credit: John R. Southern, via FreeImages.com