United States: Cartels

The United States Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has continued to vigorously pursue criminal cartel activity and to bring to justice those who commit these crimes. The past year has demonstrated the Division's resolve to hold corporate and individual offenders accountable, to prosecute foreign offenders and to secure severe consequences to deter future violations.

This annual update begins with an enforcement data overview and is followed by a summary of notable policy and case developments related to cartel enforcement over the previous year.

Enforcement data

The Antitrust Division's commitment to prosecuting corporate cartel participants continued through fiscal year (FY) 2016, which saw charges brought against 19 corporate offenders in key sectors of the economy.1 The trend towards higher corporate fines shows no signs of declining with FY 2016 yielding more than US$399 million in criminal fines and penalties, and 2017 bringing some of the highest fines in the Division's history.2 The Division's message is clear that offenders will be held criminally responsible and that no company is too small or too big to be charged.

The Division has also continued to make individual accountability a critical component of its enforcement efforts, and to insist on prison sentences with increasing frequency and for longer periods of time. In the decade preceding 2010, the Division prosecuted more than twice as many individuals (453) as corporations (220), and this ratio has climbed to nearly three to one in the period since 2010 - 430 individual to 144 corporate prosecutions.3 In FY 2016, the Division charged 52 individuals and the average prison term for criminal antitrust violations is now 22 months - up from 20 months in the preceding decade.4

The Division's zeal extends to foreign offenders whose schemes harm American consumers or businesses, including those who attempt to evade the jurisdiction of US courts. In November 2016, the Division's then Acting Assistant Attorney General, Renata B Hesse, highlighted that '[t]he criminal program's reach extends outside the United States, and foreign-national fugitives feel its sting, too.'5 Five foreign executives have been extradited and convicted since 2010, including three in the past three years. Most recently, in October 2016, an Israeli national was extradited from Bulgaria on charges brought by Division prosecutors and he pleaded guilty to four counts in March 2017.6

Recent policy developments

Enforcement against individuals remains a high priority

In September 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates directed the Department of Justice to focus on individual culpability in corporate investigations and to 'proactively investigat[e] individuals at every step of the process - before, during and after any corporate cooperation.'7 The memorandum underscores that 'the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing.'8

Although the Antitrust Division's practice of prosecuting high-level culpable individuals whenever possible long predates the Yates memo, the Yates memo has brought even more focus to these efforts. In November 2016, former Acting Assistant Attorney General Hesse explained the Division's rationale: 'It's no secret that [the Division] believe[s] the most effective deterrent to antitrust felonies is prison time for those who commit them. But this does not mean that for us the Deputy Attorney General's directive was a redundancy. It was an opportunity to reflect on our practice and to refine how we assess cases against individuals.'9

Credit for corporate compliance programmes

In recent years, the Antitrust Division has shown signs of a potential shift in policy towards recommending reductions at the sentencing phase to take into consideration compliance programmes. The Division has been clear, however, that the burden of obtaining such relief remains very high and that it will credit such programmes only where they are meaningful and effective. Former Acting Assistant Attorney General Hesse explained last autumn that the Division remains 'unwilling to credit compliance programs that failed to detect or deter' cartel behaviour. 'The sentencing guidelines do not allow credit for nominal or ineffective programs, and if we're prosecuting your client, you'll have a difficult time arguing that its compliance program was neither,' she said.10

Credit for cooperation

The Antitrust Division remains sceptical of efforts to reduce corporate sentences based on the company's alleged inability to pay the fine called for by the Sentencing Guidelines but has softened its position to some extent. In the past, if a corporate offender's fine had been reduced because of the company's inability to pay, the Division did not offer any further reductions - to incentivise cooperation or otherwise. The Division changed its position in this regard recently and will 'now consider additional sentencing credit for companies that demonstrate inability to pay, but nevertheless provide valuable cooperation.'11

Guidance for human resource professionals

After bringing civil actions against a number of technology companies for allegedly agreeing to restrain competition with each other for employees, the Division in 2016 publicly made clear that going forward it intends to approach naked agreements between competitors not to compete for employees as potential criminal matters, and prosecute the culpable individuals and companies criminally if the evidence so warrants. Specifically, in October 2016, the Antitrust Division released new guidance intended to alert human resource professionals to potential violations of the antitrust laws.12 As part of this guidance, the Division stated that employers who conspire to suppress employee compensation, or who conspire not to solicit or hire each other's employees, will be investigated (and, if appropriate, prosecuted) criminally. 'Naked "no-poaching" agreements or agreements to fix wages stamp out competition just like agreements to allocate customers or to fix product prices, violations of the law that the Division has traditionally investigated criminally and prosecuted as hard-core cartel conduct,' said then Acting Assistant Attorney General Hesse.13 It is important to note that this guidance applies not just to firms who compete with each other in the sale of their output, but to any companies that compete with each other for the services of the same employees or classes of employees, regardless of whether they compete in the sale of goods or services.

Recent case developments

Auto parts

The Antitrust Division's largest-ever criminal investigation, which involves collaboration with enforcement efforts across a number of agencies in the United States and abroad, is in its eighth year and still under way. To date, a total of 65 individuals and 48 companies have been charged and have agreed to pay more than US$2.9 billion in criminal fines in connection with a series of far-reaching price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation conspiracies in the automotive industry.14 The schemes are alleged to have stretched for over two decades across several continents, and implicated many different products and culpable parties.

Most recently, in March 2017, Kiekert AG agreed to plead guilty and pay a US$6.1 million criminal fine for its role in the conspiracy.15 In the second half of 2016, four companies (Usui Kokusai Sangyo Kaisha Ltd, Alpha Corporation, Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd and Nishikawa Rubber Co Ltd) agreed to plead guilty and pay more than US$200 million in corporate fines (US$7.2 million, US$9 million, US$55.48 million and US$130 million, respectively).16 All five companies also agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Notably, Hitachi had previously pleaded guilty in 2013 and paid a US$195 million fine for fixing the price of starters, alternators and other electrical automotive components. At the time, Hitachi had received credit for cooperating in the Division's investigation, but in the course of providing that assistance, Hitachi failed to uncover that it had also participated in fixing the price of shock absorbers. Accordingly, the Division recommended a substantial increase in Hitachi's fine, as well as a probation period.17

LIBOR

As part of a cooperation effort among a number of law enforcement agencies, the Antitrust Division continues its investigation into London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR) manipulation schemes.

In March 2017, DB Group Services (UK) Limited (DBGS) was sentenced for its role in manipulating LIBOR, a global benchmark interest rate for many financial products. DBGS had signed a plea agreement with the government in 2015, admitting its wrongdoing and agreeing to pay a US$150 million fine, which the court accepted.18

In July 2016, a former Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank BA (Rabobank) trader who worked in Hong Kong and Singapore pleaded guilty for his role in conspiring to manipulate LIBOR to Rabobank's advantage.19

The Division's investigation into benchmark interest rate manipulation has included prior resolutions with six banks, including Rabobank and Deutsche Bank AG (DBGS's parent company), as well as Barclays Bank PLC, UBS AG, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds Banking Group plc. Thirteen individuals have also been charged: two have been convicted, four have pleaded guilty, and charges against the others are pending.

FX

In January 2017, two foreign currency exchange (FX) dealers pleaded guilty to conspiring to fix prices of certain currencies. Both were dealers of Central and Eastern European, Middle Eastern and African (CEEMEA) currencies on the FX desks of New York-based financial institutions.20

Also in January 2017, three individuals were charged for conspiring to fix prices and rig bids for the euro-US dollar currency pair and, in July 2016, two individuals were charged with fraud for conspiring to defraud a client of their bank through a collusive scheme.21

These individual charges and convictions follow guilty pleas by major banks in 2015: Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase & Co, Barclays PLC and The Royal Bank of Scotland plc pleaded guilty and agreed to collectively pay more than US$2.5 billion in criminal fines - including some of the highest fines in the Antitrust Division's history - for their participation in the conspiracy to manipulate the price of US dollars and euros exchanged in the FX spot market.22 In January 2017, a federal district court accepted the plea agreements and sentenced the banks accordingly.23

Capacitors

In February 2017, Matsuo Electric Co Limited agreed to plead guilty for conspiring with competitors for more than a decade to fix prices and rig bids for electrolytic capacitors, a critical component in a broad array of electronic products. One of Matsuo's executives also pleaded guilty - the first individual guilty plea in the Antitrust Division's investigation. In addition to pleading guilty and agreeing to cooperate in the ongoing investigation, Matsuo agreed to pay a criminal fine and the executive agreed to serve a prison term of one year and a day.24

Last autumn, nine individuals from five different companies were indicted25 and, in August 2016, Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co, Ltd and Holy Stone Holdings Co, Ltd agreed to plead guilty for their roles in the conspiracy. The companies also agreed to pay criminal fines and cooperate in the ongoing investigation.26 In June 2017, a federal judge rejected Elna's plea deal and proposed US$3.85 million fine - which included a US$10.5 million ability-to-pay discount and another US$600,000 discount for cooperation - as being 'too low.'27

A total of six companies and 10 individuals have now been charged for their participation in the capacitors conspiracy. All have pleaded or will plead guilty to the charges, which pleas have resulted in almost US$40 million in criminal fines.28

Public real estate foreclosure auctions

The Antitrust Division is continuing its investigations into bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in at least four different states. To date, the Division has obtained convictions (as a result of either guilty pleas or convictions following trial) against 82 individuals in California and indictments are pending against other investors who participated in these conspiracies. In Georgia, the Division obtained another 23 individual convictions, as well as one company conviction. Elsewhere in the South, the Division has prosecuted at least 15 defendants for rigging these auctions.

These ongoing investigations underscore the Division's commitment to pursuing local and regional investigations, in addition to more extensive national and international ones. Although these conspiracies are typically of a smaller scale than the international cartels discussed elsewhere in this article, they deprive homeowners, lenders and other financial institutions, and often the agencies of the US government that guaranteed the defaulted loans, of the benefits of open competition for these properties, and the Division has shown no inclination to relax its efforts on these matters.

Ocean shipping

In July 2016, Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics AS (WWL) agreed to plead guilty, pay a US$98.9 million criminal fine and cooperate with the Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation into an alleged decade-long conspiracy to fix prices of international ocean shipping services of 'roll-on, roll-off cargo,' such as cars, trucks and equipment.29 WWL is the fourth company to agree to plead guilty in the investigation, which has resulted in more than US$230 million in agreed-upon fines. The co-conspirators are accused of colluding to fix prices, allocate markets and routes, and not bid against each other for ocean shipments. In June 2017, three of WWL's former executives were charged,30 with a total of 11 executives having been charged to date; four have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison, and charges remain pending against the others.

Online wall décor

In August 2016, online seller of wall décor Trod Ltd (d/b/a Buy 4 Less, Buy For Less and Buy-For-Less-Online) became the second defendant to plead guilty for its participation in fixing the prices of certain posters sold online through Amazon Marketplace. By agreeing to adopt specific pricing algorithms, the co-conspirators sought to offer the same prices to online shoppers and to coordinate changes in their respective prices.31 Trod represents the second-ever criminal prosecution for conduct that specifically targeted e-commerce. It is unlikely to be the last; as former Acting Assistant Attorney General Hesse noted, the Division's position is that the 'antitrust laws reach even crimes committed using algorithms in cyberspace.'32

Environmental services

A Canadian national and the former CEO of Bennett Environmental Inc, a company that specialises in the treatment and disposal of contaminated soil, was sentenced in August 2016 to serve 63 months in prison, and to pay a US$12,500 criminal fine and US$3.8 million in restitution. He was convicted earlier in the year, following a three-week trial in March 2016. He had previously been extradited in 2014 from Canada to the United States in connection with a conspiracy to pay more than US$1 million in kickbacks and corrupt the procurement process with respect to Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site. The Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation has so far resulted in the conviction of 10 individuals and three companies, and more than US$6 million in criminal fines and restitution have been imposed. Seven of the individuals have been sentenced to serve prison terms ranging from five months to 14 years.33

Small business construction contracts

In April 2017, following a guilty plea last autumn,34 an officer of Far East Construction Corporation and other construction companies was sentenced to serve six months in prison and 24 months of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay a US$35,000 criminal fine and forfeiture in the amount of US$169,166. The individual conspired with MCC Construction Company and others to illegally perform work under government contracts that were set aside for small, disadvantaged businesses. The scheme, which lasted more than five years, defrauded the government's assistance programme of tens of millions of dollars.35

In August 2016, a former officer and owner of MCC pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud and agreed to pay forfeiture in the amount of US$105,618. Earlier in 2016, MCC had pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud and agreed to pay nearly US$1.8 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture.36

Packaged seafood

In its 2015 review of the proposed merger of Thai Union Group PCL (owner of Tri-Union Seafoods LLC, d/b/a Chicken of the Sea International) and Bumble Bee Foods LLC, the Antitrust Division discovered evidence of potentially criminal conduct in the parties' ordinary course business documents that had been produced to the Division in connection with the merger review. The Division promptly opened a criminal investigation into collusion in the packaged seafood industry.37

In May 2017, Bumble Bee agreed to plead guilty for its role in the conspiracy to fix prices of shelf-stable tuna and to cooperate with the Division's ongoing investigation. The company also agreed to pay a US$25 million criminal fine, to be increased to as much as US$81.5 million in the event Bumble Bee is sold, subject to certain terms and conditions.38

In June 2017, a former senior vice president of sales pleaded guilty for his role in the conspiracy39 and, in December 2016, two other executives agreed to also plead guilty for their respective roles.40 All three individuals have agreed to pay criminal fines and cooperate with the Division's ongoing investigation.

Generic prescription drugs

In January 2017, two former senior-level pharmaceutical executives pleaded guilty for participating in conspiracies to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for certain generic drugs (namely for an antibiotic and for a diabetes treatment).41 The Division's investigation is ongoing, and it has indicated that it is 'committed to ensuring that generic pharmaceutical companies and their executives compete vigorously to provide these essential products at a competitive price.'42

Heir location services

In August 2016, Kemp & Associates Inc and its co-owner and vice president were charged with conspiring to allocate customers for heir location services. To date, three executives and two companies have been charged in the Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation into customer allocation, price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in this industry.43

Public school bus services

Four individuals were convicted in January 2017, following a week-long trial, for conspiring to rig bids and allocate the market for public school bus transportation services in Puerto Rico. Each individual was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and four counts of mail fraud for defrauding the municipal government.44

Conclusion

The past year's developments signal the Antitrust Division's continued focus on cartel enforcement with increasing corporate fines and lengthier prison sentences. Although the Division's direction on contested merger reviews and civil non-merger matters under the Trump administration remains to be seen, there is every reason to believe that the Division will continue to vigorously pursue cartel investigations and prosecutions, particularly international cartels that affect US consumers or businesses. There is also every reason to believe that it will continue to use the full array of weapons it has developed to search out and prosecute these offenders, including but not limited to the leniency programme, search warrants, consensual monitoring, border watches, extradition, and cooperation with enforcement authorities around the world. In this environment of heightened risk for antitrust liability, and in light of the Division's recent willingness to credit companies for their compliance efforts, effective antitrust compliance programmes are now more important than ever.

Footnotes

1 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Criminal Enforcement Trends Charts,' (30 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/criminal-enforcement-fine-and-jail-charts.

2 Id.

3 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Individual Accountability in the Financial Services Industry,' (27 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-spring-2017/individual-accountability-financial-services-industry.

4 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Criminal Enforcement Trends Charts,' (30 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/criminal-enforcement-fine-and-jail-charts.

5 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at 26th Annual Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute,' (3 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/speech/acting-assistant-attorney-general-renata-hesse-antitrust-division-delivers-remarks-26th.

6 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Israeli Executive Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the Foreign Military Financing Program,' (13 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/israeli-executive-pleads-guilty-defrauding-foreign-military-financing-program; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Individual Program Update 2017,' (28 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-spring-2017/international-program-update-2017.

7 Memorandum from Sally Quillian Yates, Deputy Att'y Gen., U.S. Dep't of Justice, to Assistant Att'y Gen, Antitrust Div., U.S. Dep't of Justice et al., regarding Individual Accountability for Corporate Wrongdoing (9 September 2015), available at www.justice.gov/dag/file/769036/download.

8 Id.

9 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at 26th Annual Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute,' (3 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/speech/acting-assistant-attorney-general-renata-hesse-antitrust-division-delivers-remarks-26th.

10 Id.

11 Id.

12 U.S. Dep't of Justice and Fed. Trade Comm'n, 'Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals,' (October 2016), available at www.justice.gov/atr/file/903511/download.

13 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at the American Bar Association Fall Forum,' (17 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/speech/acting-assistant-attorney-general-renata-hesse-antitrust-division-delivers-remarks-0.

14 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Kiekert AG to Plead Guilty to Bid Rigging Involving Auto Parts,' (7 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/kiekert-ag-plead-guilty-bid-rigging-involving-auto-parts.

15 Id.

16 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Japanese Auto Parts Company Agrees to Plead Guilty to Antitrust Conspiracy Involving Steel Tubes,' (8 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/japanese-auto-parts-company-agrees-plead-guilty-antitrust-conspiracy-involving-steel-tubes; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Alpha Corporation Agrees to Plead Guilty in Price-Fixing and Bid-Rigging Conspiracy,' (15 September 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/alpha-corporation-agrees-plead-guilty-price-fixing-and-bid-rigging-conspiracy; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Hitachi Automotive Systems Agrees to Plead Guilty to Involvement in Anti-Competitive Auto Parts Conspiracy,' (9 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/hitachi-automotive-systems-agrees-plead-guilty-involvement-anti-competitive-auto-parts; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Nishikawa Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $130 Million Criminal Fine for Fixing Prices of Automotive Parts,' (20 July 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nishikawa-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-130-million-criminal-fine-fixing-prices-automotive.

17 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Hitachi Automotive Systems Agrees to Plead Guilty to Involvement in Anti-Competitive Auto Parts Conspiracy,' (9 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/hitachi-automotive-systems-agrees-plead-guilty-involvement-anti-competitive-auto-parts.

18 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Deutsche Bank's London Subsidiary Sentenced for Manipulation of LIBOR,' (28 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/deutsche-bank-s-london-subsidiary-sentenced-manipulation-libor.

19 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former Rabobank Derivatives Trader Pleads Guilty for Scheme to Manipulate LIBOR Benchmark,' (7 July 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-rabobank-derivatives-trader-pleads-guilty-scheme-manipulate-libor-benchmark.

20 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Second Foreign Currency Exchange Dealer Pleads Guilty to Antitrust Conspiracy,' (12 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/second-foreign-currency-exchange-dealer-pleads-guilty-antitrust-conspiracy; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Foreign Currency Exchange Dealer Pleads Guilty to Antitrust Conspiracy,' (4 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/foreign-currency-exchange-dealer-pleads-guilty-antitrust-conspiracy.

21 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three Former Traders for Major Banks Indicted in Foreign Currency Exchange Antitrust Conspiracy,' (10 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-former-traders-major-banks-indicted-foreign-currency-exchange-antitrust-conspiracy.

22 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Five Major Banks Agree to Parent-Level Guilty Pleas,' (20 May 2015), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-major-banks-agree-parent-level-guilty-pleas.

23 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three Former Traders for Major Banks Indicted in Foreign Currency Exchange Antitrust Conspiracy,' (10 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-former-traders-major-banks-indicted-foreign-currency-exchange-antitrust-conspiracy.

24 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Corporation and Its Executive Agree to Plead Guilty to Participating in Capacitors Price-Fixing Conspiracy,' (8 February 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/corporation-and-its-executive-agree-plead-guilty-participating-capacitors-price-fixing.

25 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three More Individuals Indicted for Their Roles in Capacitors Price-Fixing Conspiracy,' (15 December 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-more-individuals-indicted-their-roles-capacitors-price-fixing-conspiracy; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Five More Individuals Indicted for Their Roles in Capacitors Price-Fixing Conspiracy,' (2 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/five-more-individuals-indicted-their-roles-capacitors-price-fixing-conspiracy.

26 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three Companies Agree to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors,' (22 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-companies-agree-plead-guilty-fixing-prices-electrolytic-capacitors.

27 Joshua Sisco, 'Elna's $3.8 million capacitor price-fixing fine rejected by judge,' MLex (14 June 2017), available at www.mlex.com/GlobalAntitrust/DetailView.aspx?cid=895329&siteid=191.

28 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Division Secures Individual and Corporate Guilty Pleas for Collusion Affecting Millions of American Consumers,' (28 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-spring-2017/division-secures-individual-and-corporate-guilty-pleas-collusion-industries-where-products.

29 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'WWL to Pay $98.9 Million for Fixing Prices of Ocean Shipping Services for Cars and Trucks,' (13 July 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/wwl-pay-989-million-fixing-prices-ocean-shipping-services-cars-and-trucks.

30 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'International Shipping Executives Indicted for Colluding on Bids and Rates,' (27 June 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/international-shipping-executives-indicted-colluding-bids-and-rates.

31 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Online Retailer Pleads Guilty for Fixing Prices of Wall Posters,' (11 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/online-retailer-pleads-guilty-fixing-prices-wall-posters.

32 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse of the Antitrust Division Delivers Remarks at 26th Annual Golden State Antitrust, UCL and Privacy Law Institute,' (3 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/speech/acting-assistant-attorney-general-renata-hesse-antitrust-division-delivers-remarks-26th.

33 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former CEO of Canadian Hazardous Waste Treatment Company Sentenced to Serve 63 Months in Prison for Role in Kickback and Fraud Schemes Against the United States,' (9 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-ceo-canadian-hazardous-waste-treatment-company-sentenced-serve-63-months-prison-role.

34 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Construction Company Officer Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Government,' (15 November 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/construction-company-officer-pleads-guilty-conspiring-defraud-government.

35 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Construction Company Officer Sentenced to Prison for Conspiring to Defraud Government,' (25 April 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/construction-company-officer-sentenced-prison-conspiring-defraud-government.

36 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former MCC Construction Company Officer and Owner Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Defraud Government,' (23 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-mcc-construction-company-officer-and-owner-pleads-guilty-conspiring-defraud-government.

37 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Civil Investigations Uncover Evidence of Criminal Conduct,' (28 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-spring-2017/civil-investigations-uncover-evidence-criminal-conduct.

38 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Bumble Bee Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price Fixing,' (8 May 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/bumble-bee-agrees-plead-guilty-price-fixing.

39 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former Packaged Seafood Executive Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing,' (28 June 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-packaged-seafood-executive-pleads-guilty-price-fixing.

40 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Packaged Seafood Executive Agrees to Plead Guilty to Price-Fixing Conspiracy,' (21 December 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/packaged-seafood-executive-agrees-plead-guilty-price-fixing-conspiracy; U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'First Charges Brought in Investigation of Collusion in the Packaged Seafood Industry,' (7 December 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/first-charges-brought-investigation-collusion-packaged-seafood-industry.

41 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former Top Generic Pharmaceutical Executives Charged with Price-Fixing, Bid-Rigging and Customer Allocation Conspiracies,' (14 December 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-top-generic-pharmaceutical-executives-charged-price-fixing-bid-rigging-and-customer.

42 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Division Secures Individual and Corporate Guilty Pleas for Collusion Affecting Millions of American Consumers,' (28 March 2017), available at www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-spring-2017/division-secures-individual-and-corporate-guilty-pleas-collusion-industries-where-products.

43 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Heir Location Services Company and Co-Owner Charged with Customer Allocation Scheme,' (17 August 2016), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/heir-location-services-company-and-co-owner-charged-customer-allocation-scheme.

44 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Four School Bus Company Owners Convicted for Bid Rigging and Mail Fraud Conspiracies Involving Puerto Rico Public School Bus Services,' (26 January 2017), available at www.justice.gov/opa/pr/four-school-bus-company-owners-convicted-bid-rigging-and-mail-fraud-conspiracies-involving.

Originally published in "United States: Cartels" for Global Competition Review's Antitrust Review of the Americas 2018.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

Disclaimer

Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

Registration

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

Cookies

A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

Links

This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

Mail-A-Friend

If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

Security

This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.