On 4 April 2014, the German authorities extradited an Italian
national to the United States to face antitrust charges under the
US Sherman Act. The extradition followed an order of 22 January
2014 from the Higher Regional Court of Frankfurt (Higher Regional
Court), in which that court authorised the extradition of the
former senior executive of Parker ITR, Romano Pisciotti, for his
alleged involvement in the marine hose cartel from 1999 to
The extradition comes at the request of the US authorities,
which are continuing to investigate suspected bid-rigging and
anti-competitive price agreements affecting the supply of marine
hoses from 1986 until 2007. This conduct was also subject to fines
imposed by the European Commission in January 2009, totalling
€ 131.51 million (see VBB on Competition Law, Volume
2009, No. 1, available at
In this context, the US authorities had charged Mr Pisciotti
with joining and participating in the conspiracy and, since Mr
Pisciotti had opted not to travel to the US to resolve the case,
had placed him on the "Red Notice" list maintained by
Interpol. On 17 June 2013, Mr Pisciotti was arrested at Frankfurt
airport, where he was changing planes on his way back to Italy from
Nigeria. In August 2013, the US authorities officially requested
Germany to extradite Mr Pisciotti under the terms of the
extradition treaty between the US and Germany.
Under that treaty, a person is to be extradited, if (subject to
a number of other requirements) the person concerned has been
charged in the requesting state with an extraditable offence, i.e.,
an offence subject to criminal penalties under the laws of both the
US and Germany. Bid-rigging is a criminal offence in Germany under
section 298 of the German Criminal Code (StGB) and in the US under
section 1 of the US Sherman Act.
The Higher Regional Court authorised the extradition of Mr
Pisciotti after consultation of the US authorities' extradition
file. The Higher Regional Court found that the requirement of dual
criminality was met, as Mr Pisciotti was suspected of having
committed an offence punishable pursuant to section 298 StGB.
According to the file, Mr Pisciotti had between 1999 and 2006
been member of a group of competitors that agreed upon prices for
rubber hoses in bids to oil-producing companies. According to the
Higher Regional Court, it followed from the extradition file that
these bids had been made in response to invitations to tender.
Allegedly, the group members had decided at the beginning of each
tendering procedure which company should be awarded the
Mr Pisciotti was extradited on 4 April 2014 to stand trial in
the US for the alleged bid-rigging. In the meantime, he has already
pleaded guilty before a US court in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and
has been sentenced to pay a $50,000 fine and to serve two years in
prison. Mr Pisciotti is however granted credit for the nine months
of jail time he has already served on remand in Germany.
This case marks the first time a person has been successfully
extradited to the US on the basis of their involvement in a cartel.
The US authorities previously succeeded in securing the extradition
of Ian Norris from the UK in connection with the carbon graphite
cartel, but this extradition ultimately proceeded due to Mr
Norris's participation in steps designed to obstruct the course
of justice, rather than in the cartel itself (see VBB on
Competition Law, Volume 2010, No. 3, available at
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