The Antitrust Division has announced that three more companies have agreed to plead guilty in the electrolytic capacitor investigation. According to a DOJ press release of August 22, (here) Rubycon Corp, Elna Co, and Holy Stone Holdings Co, have agreed to plead guilty to fixing the prices of electrolytic capacitors sold in the United States…

One of the aspirations of many antitrust/competition lawyers worldwide is to achieve as much convergence as possible among competition authorities in enforcing competition law. Counseling companies and individuals who do business on a worldwide basis on the many differences in competition law can be inefficient, costly and result in less than optimal competition and deterrence…

On April 27, 2016 Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. was charged by the Antitrust Division in a one-count Information alleging that the company (through predecessor companies) engaged in a conspiracy to “fix prices and rig bids of certain electrolytic capacitors in the United States and elsewhere beginning at least as early as August 2002 and continuing…

All antitrust lawyers (and, we hope, all our clients) understand the dangers of price discussions with competitors. But even vertical price discussions—those with suppliers or retailers—can later raise antitrust issues. The most recent vivid examples are the cases Johnson & Johnson is defending against Costco and others after it imposed a Colgate program following discussions…

On 9 July 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (“ECJ”) issued an important judgment[1] concerning the basis on which cartel fines by the European Commission should be calculated for vertically integrated companies. The judgment endorses the power of the European Commission to impose large fines on multinational companies operating at various levels…

UPDATE: On June 15, the Court denied review in Hsiung v. U.S., Dkt. 14-1121,  and Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., Dkt. 14-1122. Apparently, Dow Chemical Co. v. Industrial Polymers, Inc., Dkt. 14-1091, remains pending. The parties filed a joint motion to hold the petition in abeyance before release of the Supreme Court Order List, and…

In a decision that’s received relatively little attention, a divided U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week held that the Natural Gas Act (NGA) did not “field” preempt state law antitrust claims raised by large retail buyers of natural gas seeking damages from pipelines for their purported price manipulation. Rejected was the pipelines’ argument that the…

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court was asked, in parallel petitions, to resolve a split between the Seventh Circuit and the Ninth Circuit on the application of the federal antitrust laws to a conspiracy to fix prices of thin-film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels. The petitions provide an excellent opportunity for the High Court to offer…

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division had another active year in antitrust enforcement in 2014. As for FTC antitrust enforcement efforts, FTC Bureau of Competition Director Deborah L. Feinstein was kind enough to provide a list of the “Ten Competition Happenings for 2014” on the agency’s Competition Matters blog. Her list…

The U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco last week upheld the price fixing convictions of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer AU Optronics (AUO), its U.S. subsidiary, and two company executives. The appellate court also affirmed a $500 million fine against AUO, the only defendant to challenge the sentence. The case is U.S. v. Hsiung, No. 12-10492. In…