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Eric Carlson
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Don’t forget antitrust enforcement (and compliance)

The DOJ said last week it collected $1.86 billion in criminal fines and penalties from antitrust prosecutions during the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2014. 

Five companies paid penalties of more than $100 million each, including a $425 million criminal fine levied against Bridgestone Corp., the fourth biggest fine the DOJ antitrust division has ever collected. 

The second biggest criminal antitrust enforcement fine collected in FY2014 was $195 million from Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. 

Three other companies paid fines and penalties of more than $100 million — Mitsubishi Electric Corp. with $190 million, Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. with $120 million, and JTEKT Corp. with $103.2 million. 

The antitrust collection total also includes $561 million in penalties assessed in connection with the LIBOR investigation. It was a joint enforcement by the DOJ’s antitrust and criminal divisions. 

During FY2014, 21 individual antitrust defendants were sentenced to prison, with an average sentence of 26 months.

“The size of these penalties is an unfortunate reminder of the powerful temptation to cheat the American consumer and profit from collusion,” DOJ antitrust division chief Bill Baer said. 

“We remain committed to ensuring that corporations and individuals who collude face serious consequences for their crimes,” Baer said.

In the DOJ’s ongoing investigation of the auto parts industry alone, 50 individuals have been charged with price fixing and bid rigging. Thirty-three companies have pleaded guilty in the case and agreed to pay more than $2.4 billion in fines.

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Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.

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1 Comment

  1. It seems to me that the monies these corporates make is from the consumer. Who gets to keep the fines? If the government keeps it the consumer is getting hit twice. This happen in the housing crash. Many were found guilty but nothing was done to alleviate the people who had problems. Lawyers write the paper that gets passed into law and the rest is history. They certainly have advanced thinking on their thievery side, do they not?


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