Archives: Cartel Enforcement

Subscribe to Cartel Enforcement RSS Feed

General Court of the EU Upholds Cartel Fines of €131 Million Imposed on Toshiba and Mitsubishi Electric, Dismisses Arguments Based on Principle of Equal Treatment

By two judgments of January 19, 2015 (Case T-404/12 Toshiba v. Commission and Case T-409/12 Mitsubishi Electric v. Commission), the General Court of the European Union (GCEU) upheld the fines of €131 million imposed by the European Commission (EC) on Toshiba and Mitsubishi for their participation in a cartel on the market for gas insulated … Continue Reading

A New Concept in Cartel Fining: “Direct EEA Sales Through Transformed Products”

On 9 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) issued its judgment in InnoLux Corp. v Commission C-231/14P, confirming the existence of a new concept in cartel fining: “direct European Economic Area [EEA] sales through transformed products”. This new concept can be used by the European Commission to calculate fines of … Continue Reading

ICN Adopts New Guidance Focusing on Investigative Process and International Cooperation in Mergers

From April 28 through May 1, the International Competition Network (ICN) held its 2015 annual conference. The ICN is a network that unites 132 competition watchdogs from 119 jurisdictions, including the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission (EC) and the Japan Fair Trade Commission … Continue Reading

Top Antitrust Enforcers Respond to Congressional Questioning

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and Assistant Attorney General William Baer testified before the House Committee on the Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law on May 15, 2015. The oversight hearing provided an opportunity for the heads of the U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies to survey their agencies’ priorities and recent … Continue Reading

Shipping Executive Acquitted of Antitrust Charge

On May 8, 2015, a jury in Puerto Rico acquitted Thomas Farmer (Farmer), the former vice president of price and yield management for Crowley Liner Services, Inc., of conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition in violation of Sherman Act, Section 1. The case is United States v. Thomas Farmer (3:13-cr-00162) in the United States District … Continue Reading

Antitrust Enforcers Discuss Recent Highlights, Ongoing Cases, Enforcement Priorities and General Trends at the 2015 ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting

The American Bar Association (ABA) Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting concluded earlier this month with the traditional “Enforcers’ Roundtable,” an interview with leading competition authorities about recent highlights, ongoing cases, enforcement priorities and general trends. This year’s participants were Bill Baer, U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust; Edith Ramirez, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman; … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Upholds Dismissal of Text Messaging Price-Fixing Claims

On Thursday, April 9, 2015, the Seventh Circuit affirmed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for AT&T Mobility LLC, Verizon Wireless LLC, T-Mobile USA Inc. and Sprint Corp., in a text messaging price-fixing litigation.  In re Text Messaging Antitrust Litigation, case number 14-2301.  Plaintiffs alleged that these wireless telephone providers and a trade association … Continue Reading

Third Circuit Remands Class Certification Ruling in Blood Reagents Price-Fixing Case

On Wednesday, April 8, 2015, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a district court’s order certifying a class of direct purchasers of blood reagents in a price-fixing suit against Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc.  In re Blood Reagents, case number 12-4067.  Plaintiffs allege that Ortho-Clinical Diagnostic Inc. (Ortho) and a producer of blood reagents, violated Section … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Asked to Clarify the Reach of U.S. Antitrust Laws to Foreign Conduct

On March 16, 2015, AU Optronics Corporation America Inc. (AU Optronics) and Motorola Mobility LLC separately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to clarify the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) and the extent to which its language allows foreign conduct to be brought within the scope of the Sherman Act.  The requests for review follow … Continue Reading

Parking Heater Manufacturer Pleads Guilty to Price-Fixing

On March 12, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Espar Inc., pleaded guilty to one count of price-fixing under the Sherman Act in a scheme involving parking heaters for commercial vehicles that ran from October 2007 through December 2012.  Parking heaters heat the inside of a vehicle when the engine is not running. According … Continue Reading

Seventh Circuit Denies Rehearing in LCD Price-Fixing Suit by Motorola

On January 12, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals refused Motorola Mobility LLC’s petition for a rehearing en banc of its price-fixing claims against foreign manufacturers of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels. Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., et al., case number 14-8003. Motorola alleged that these foreign manufacturers violated Section 1 of the … Continue Reading

Foreign Airlines Move to Dismiss Rate-Fixing Litigation

Last Friday, foreign cargo carriers filed motions to dismiss an air freight price-fixing suit brought by Schenker AG, the logistics division of Germany’s national railway company, Deutsche Bahn, in the Eastern District of New York.  Schenker AG v. Societe Air France, et al., case number 1:14-cv-04711.  In its complaint filed last August, Schenker alleged that … Continue Reading

Japanese Shipping Company Rolls Over, Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing

On September 26, 2014 Japanese transportation company Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line) agreed to plead guilty to price fixing, bid rigging and allocating customers for international ocean shipping services for “roll-on, roll-off” cargo. K-Line will be fined $67.7 million. Roll-on, roll-off cargo is a special type of ocean shipping for cars, trucks, agricultural and construction … Continue Reading

Limitation Periods for Antitrust Damages Actions in The European Union

The last decade or so has seen a marked increase in antitrust damages actions brought before the national courts of the EU Member States. As things currently stand, such actions are governed by the various national laws of the 28 Member States. This patchwork of differing national rules further complicates the already complex underpinning of … Continue Reading

2014 Cartel Penalties On Pace to Set Record

Global antitrust regulators are on pace to levy record-breaking cartel penalties in 2014.  If global regulators keep pace, cartel penalties will surpass 2013’s record total.  Through June, U.S. antitrust regulators issued fines totaling $709 million (USD), while European regulators imposed fines of $1.95 billion. The record-breaking fines are the result of global regulators more actively … Continue Reading

EU’s Top Court Rules Cartel Victims Can Claim Damages From Cartelists Despite No Contractual Link

by Martina Maier, Philipp Werner and David Henry In a landmark ruling, the EU’s top court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Kone and Others C-557/12 of 5 June 2014, has held that, where a cartel causes competing companies to increase their prices, the members of the cartel may be held liable for losses … Continue Reading

Commission Holds Goldman Sachs Liable for Former Portfolio Company’s Antitrust Infringement

by Veronica Pinotti, Lionel Lesur, Martino Sforza, Nicolò di Castelnuovo In its decision of 2 April 2014 in relation to the underground and submarine high voltage power cables cartel case (COMP/39610), the European Commission (Commission) held the parent companies of the producers involved liable, on the basis that they had exercised decisive influence over the producers. … Continue Reading

First Successful Extradition of Foreign National for Price-Fixing Violation

For the first time, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has successfully litigated an extradition of a foreign national on an antitrust charge.  This extradition shows that the DOJ is still pursuing individuals it charged several years ago with criminal price-fixing conduct and is a watershed moment in DOJ criminal enforcement of the antitrust laws. … Continue Reading

Significant Changes to UK Competition Regime Now Effective

by Andrea Hamilton, David Henry, Aiste Slezeviciute The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 took effect on 1 April 2014. Increased efficiencies and deterrence are the main drivers of this reform. As of 1 April 2014, the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Act 2013 (ERRA) brings about significant substantive and structural change to the United Kingdom’s … Continue Reading

U.S. Senators Debate Toughening Cartel Penalties

On November 14, 2013, members of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights heard arguments regarding the effectiveness of current cartel prosecution and punishment strategies in deterring cartel conduct.  In her opening remarks, Senator Amy Klobuchar, chair of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, called price-fixing the most egregious form … Continue Reading

Northern District of California Certifies Indirect Purchaser Class in CRT Case

On September 24, 2013, the Northern District of California certified a class of indirect purchasers in In re Cathode Ray Tube Antitrust Litig., No. 3:07-cv-5944 SC, 2013 WL 5391159 (N.D. Cal. September 24, 2013).  The case was brought by indirect purchasers of products containing cathode ray tubes (CRTs) against CRT manufacturers alleging a global conspiracy … Continue Reading

Assistant Attorney General Addresses Antitrust Remedies in First Formal Remarks

On September 25, 2013, Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer gave his first formal remarks since becoming head of the Antitrust Division at the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) in January. Speaking at Georgetown Law’s Seventh Annual Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium, Baer’s address was entitled “Remedies Matter: The Importance of Achieving Effective Antitrust Outcomes.” Baer … Continue Reading
LexBlog