Criminal Antitrust Fines Top USD1 Billion Mark Again In 2013

by Allen & Overy LLP
Contact

The Antitrust Division obtained more than USD1.02bn in criminal fines in fiscal year 2013 (October 2012 – September 2013), which officially closed yesterday.  Fiscal year 2013 marks the second year in a row that the Division has eclipsed USD1bn in fines, but only the third time in the history of the now 123-year-old Sherman Act that fines have exceeded that threshold.

The Antitrust Division’s investigations into collusion surrounding LIBOR and into price-fixing and bid-rigging in the auto parts sector dominated the criminal antitrust enforcement agenda in fiscal year 2013.  The fines imposed in these investigations accounted for nearly 99% of the fiscal year total.

This year’s fine total is due in large part to a group of plea agreements in the auto parts investigation inked in the final days of the fiscal year, which yielded a total of USD740 million in criminal fines.  In these last-minute deals, nine Japanese car-parts makers and two executives entered plea agreements for their involvement in various conspiracies to fix prices of more than 30 different auto parts sold to manufacturers in the U.S. and abroad.  Attorney General Eric Holder announced the deals, explaining that “these international price-fixing conspiracies affected more than USD5bn in automobile parts sold to U.S. car manufacturers, and more than 25m cars purchased by American consumers were affected by the illegal conduct.”  So far, the investigation into auto parts has yielded over USD1.6bn in criminal fines, as well as prison sentences for 17 executives.

The 2013 fine statistics also reflect a continued focus of the Antitrust Division on conduct by foreign-based corporations.  Fines imposed on Japanese, Korean, UK, and Taiwanese companies, and their subsidiaries, account for 100% of the corporate fines imposed this year.  Japanese corporations were the hardest hit, with their combined total accounting for nearly 90% of the fines obtained.

While fiscal year 2013 proved to be another record year for the Antitrust Division in terms of corporate fines, there are signs that U.S. antitrust enforcers will struggle to achieve fines of a similar magnitude in fiscal year 2014.  The Antitrust Division continues to struggle under the weight of the LIBOR and auto parts investigations at a time when the Division is severely resource constrained.  If left unresolved, these constraints may slow the Antitrust Division’s activity in the auto parts and LIBOR investigations over the course of the coming year, as well as constrict the pipeline of new investigations the Division is capable of pursuing.  And the government shut down will only exacerbate the problem, with the Antitrust Division already announcing that many investigations may be suspended until Congress resolves the budget stalemate.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Allen & Overy LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Allen & Overy LLP
Contact
more
less

Allen & Overy LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.
Feedback? Tell us what you think of the new jdsupra.com!