United States: The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2017: Cartels

The United States Department of Justice's Antitrust Division has continued to vigorously pursue criminal cartel activity and to successfully bring to justice those who commit these crimes. The past year has demonstrated the Division's unrelenting 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) 2015, which saw charges brought against 20 corporate offenders in key sectors of the economy.1 The trend toward higher corporate fines shows no signs of declining with FY 2015 bringing in more than US$3.6 billion in criminal fines and penalties, representing the highest annual yield ever in the Division's history and the fourth year in a row exceeding US$1 billion." 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.

Over the past year, the Division has also made individual accountability a critical component of its enforcement efforts, and it continues to insist on jail sentences with increasing frequency and for longer periods of time. The Division charged 66 individuals in FY 2015 – up from 44 in the previous year. The average number of individuals sentenced to prison increased 85 per cent from 2006 to 2015,3 and the average prison term for criminal antitrust violations is now 24 months, representing an increase of 65 per cent over the preceding decade.4

In its pursuit of those who engage in criminal conduct, the Division is readily prepared to litigate and 'will not be deterred from holding those involved – both corporations and individuals – accountable for their actions, and [it] welcome[s] the opportunity to prove [its] cases to a jury.'5

The Division's zeal also extends to foreign offenders whose schemes harm American consumers and who attempt to evade the jurisdiction of US courts. In March 2016, Assistant Attorney General William J Baer highlighted that the Division will hold offenders responsible regardless of where they reside or are nationals and will continue to seek extradition where appropriate.6 In the same month, a Canadian national – who was extradited in 2014 after spending five years contesting extradition to the United States – was convicted following a three-week trial in New Jersey.7

Recent policy developments

Enforcement against individuals remains a high priority

In September 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q 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.'8 The memorandum underscores that 'the most effective ways to combat corporate misconduct is by seeking accountability from the individuals who perpetrated the wrongdoing.'9

The Antitrust Division is taking the policy memorandum seriously and has already taken steps to incorporate the directive into its enforcement approach. In February 2016, Brent Snyder, the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Criminal Enforcement, indicated that the Division has adopted internal procedures 'to ensure that each of [its] criminal offices systematically identifies all potentially culpable individuals as early in the investigative process as feasible and that [it] bring[s] cases against individuals' as quickly as possible.10 He emphasised that the Division is 'committed to holding accountable the highest-level culpable executives at conspirator companies' and, to this end, has adopted a novel method of reviewing corporate defendants' organisational structures 'to ensure that [it is] identifying and investigating all senior executives who potentially condoned, directed, or participated in the criminal conduct.'11

Director of Criminal Enforcement Marvin Price indicated in June 2016 that pursuing culpable individuals is a 'number one priority' for the Division and that it considers prison sentences to be the best deterrent.12

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. It awarded credit against criminal fines to two companies in 2015, recognising their efforts to implement or improve compliance programmes: Barclays PLC became the first company to receive credit in May in connection with the Division's investigation into the foreign exchange (FX) spot market, and Kayaba Industry Co Ltd (KYB Corporation) received credit in October in connection with the Division's long-running auto parts investigation.13

A recent survey suggests that almost one-third of US corporations have now introduced proactive compliance programmes.14 The Division has been clear, however, that it will only credit such programmes where they are meaningful and effective. Deputy Assistant Attorney General Snyder explained last fall that the Division will not credit 'backward-looking' or pre-existing compliance efforts that failed to deter and detect cartel behaviour, or compliance programmes put into place or nominally improved after a company comes under investigation. Compliance efforts must go further to reflect 'genuine efforts to change a company's culture,' he said.15 The Division announced in November 2015 that it had hired an expert to assist in evaluating the validity and sufficiency of companies' compliance programmes in criminal matters.16

The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act

In July 2015, the US Senate unanimously passed the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act (CAARA) as an amendment to the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004. The amendment is meant to provide antitrust whistleblowers protections similar to those found in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The CAARA safeguards from retaliation by an employer any employee, contractor, subcontractor or agent who provides or causes to be provided to the employer or the federal government information about any violation of antitrust laws.17

Recent case developments

Auto parts

The Antitrust Division's largest-ever criminal investigation is in its seventh year and still underway. To date, a total of 64 individuals and 44 companies have been charged and have agreed to pay more than US$2.7 billion in criminal fines in connection with a series of far-reaching price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocation conspiracies in the automotive industry.18 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 June 2016, a federal grand jury returned two indictments charging Japanese automotive parts companies and their US subsidiaries – the first companies to be indicted – as well as a total of five executives.19 Earlier in the year, Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha and KYB Corporation agreed to plead guilty and pay US$66.5 million and US$62 million in criminal fines, respectively.20 KYB Corporation has also agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, which encompasses a collaboration of enforcement efforts across various agencies in the United States and abroad.

LIBOR

As part of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which also involves 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 November 2015, after a month-long trial, two former London-based Coöperatieve Centrale Raiffeisen-Boerenleenbank BA (Rabobank) traders were convicted for their roles in manipulating LIBOR, a global benchmark interest rate for many financial products.21 They were sentenced in March 2016 to 24 months, and 12 months and one day in prison, which were the first two sentences handed down in the United States for rate manipulation.22

In May 2016, a federal grand jury returned a 10-count indictment against two former Deutsche Bank AG traders for their participation in LIBOR manipulation to gain an illegal advantage in the market.23

The Division's investigation has included prior resolutions with six banks, including Rabobank and Deutsche Bank, 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, three have pleaded guilty, and charges against the others are pending.24

In addition, in May 2016, the Second Circuit reversed a lower court's dismissal of civil antitrust class action claims against 16 banks. The Second Circuit held that plaintiffs adequately alleged antitrust injury based on the alleged manipulation of US dollar LIBOR, on the grounds that the alleged horizontal price-fixing constituted a per se federal antitrust violation.25 Nine of the 16 defendant banks have already settled or are in the process of settling, with a total value of settlements to date exceeding US$2 billion.26

Capacitors

In June 2016, Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd pleaded guilty to a criminal antitrust charge for conspiring with competitors for more than a decade to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors, a critical component in a broad array of electronic products. The District Court judge sentenced Hitachi to five years' corporate probation (which is two years more than the three-year probationary period that the Antitrust Division sought) and a US$3.8 million fine.27 Earlier in the year, in January 2016, NEC TOKIN Corp pleaded guilty to participating in the same conspiracy and was fined US$13.8 million.28 Hitachi and NEC TOKIN's pleas represent the first and second pleas in this investigation.

Public real estate foreclosure auctions

In a joint effort with the FBI as part of the FFETF, the Antitrust Division is continuing its investigation into bid-rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in four different states. Since early 2015, 15 individuals have been charged for their participation in this scheme, which sought to cash in on the financial crisis by defrauding financial institutions and homeowners.29 More than 100 individuals have been charged since the investigation began;30 51 of them have already pleaded guilty and 22 have been indicted.31 Twenty-one individuals have hearings scheduled by the end of this year and the first trial in the case is set to commence in September.32

Deputy Assistant Attorney General Snyder recently defended the Division's prosecution of a large number of these relatively minor cases, which have been accused of tying up limited government resources. 'We do view it as an important investigation,' he said, 'We wouldn't be putting the resources into it that we are if it weren't.'33 He underscored the Division's commitment to pursuing local and regional investigations, in addition to more extensive national and international ones.34

Ocean shipping

Three shipping executives were indicted in October 201535 and a fourth was indicted in June 201636 in connection with the Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation into a decade-long conspiracy to fix prices for shipping services for 'roll-on, roll-off cargo,' such as cars, trucks and equipment. The co-conspirators are accused of colluding to fix prices, allocate markets and routes, and not bid against each other in the provision of ocean shipping services. Eight executives have been charged to date; four have already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to prison, and charges remain pending against the others. A Chilean company and two Japanese companies have also previously pleaded guilty and have paid over US$136 million in criminal fines.37

Online wall décor

In December 2015, one individual and his company were indicted in connection with an ongoing investigation following searches of the individual's residence and the corporation's headquarters by UK law enforcement and the FBI.38 Another individual, a former executive of an online seller of wall décor, had agreed to plead guilty last year for his participation in the scheme, which involved price-fixing of certain posters sold online through Amazon Marketplace and which represented the first-ever criminal prosecution against conduct that specifically targeted e-commerce.39

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 convicted 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 kickbacks and corrupt the procurement process at an Environmental Protection Agency Superfund site. The scheme had caused more than US$1 million in kickbacks to be paid. The Antitrust Division's ongoing investigation has so far resulted in 10 individuals and three companies pleading guilty or being convicted, and paying more than US$6 million in criminal fines and restitution.40

Parking heaters

In an ongoing investigation, three German executives of Espar Inc were indicted in December 2015 for alleged price-fixing of parking heaters used in commercial vehicles and sold in the aftermarket. Espar Inc also pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to pay a US$14.9 million criminal fine.41

Water treatment chemicals

GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc pleaded guilty in June 2016 for its role in a decade-long conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids and allocate customers for liquid aluminum sulfate, a substance used by municipalities and pulp and paper manufacturers for water treatment and manufacturing processes. GEO was the first corporate defendant to be charged in this ongoing investigation and was sentenced to a US$5 million fine.42 One individual previously pleaded guilty in October 201543 and two others were indicted in February 2016.44

Small business construction contracts

In February 2016, MCC Construction Company pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud and agreed to pay nearly US$1.8 million in criminal penalties and forfeiture. It had conspired with two other companies to illegally perform work under government contracts that were set aside for small businesses. During a three-year period, MCC won contracts totalling more than US$70 million.45 A former officer and owner of MCC pleaded guilty in June 2016 to conspiring to obstruct justice and agreed to pay US$165,711 in restitution.46

Heir location services

In June 2016, Brandenburger & Davis and its former president and CEO pleaded guilty to conspiring for nearly a decade to fix prices and allocate customers for heir location services. These represent the first prosecutions in this industry in Antitrust Division history. Brandenburger & Davis also agreed to plead guilty and pay a US$890,000 criminal fine, and both the individual and the company have agreed to assist with the Division's ongoing investigation.47 In January 2016, the owner and president of another heir-location services provider also agreed to plead guilty for his participation in a similar scheme and to provide assistance with the investigation.48

Tax lien auctions

In an ongoing investigation between the Antitrust Division and the FBI as part of the FFETF, a former bidder for a tax lien investment company was sentenced in March 2016 to serve a term of 12 months and one day in prison and to pay a criminal fine of US$25,000. He had been convicted in October 2015 following a multi-week trial in connection with a conspiracy to allocate and rig bids at municipal tax liens auctions. To date, a total of 13 individuals and three companies have been convicted or pleaded guilty in connection with this investigation.49

Colour display tubes

In November 2015, a former executive of a Taiwan-based company became the first individual to plead guilty to a global conspiracy to fix prices in an ongoing investigation relating to color display tubes, which are used in computer monitors and other specialised applications. Samsung SDI Company Ltd had previously pleaded guilty in 2011 and paid a US$32 million fine and four other individuals have been indicted.50

Other cases

The Antitrust Division continues to vigorously pursue efforts to hold offenders criminally responsible for collusive conduct in a number of other investigations that have not had significant public developments over the past 12 months, including the foreign currency exchange (FX) market investigation, which involves a conspiracy to manipulate key FX benchmarks, and the ISDAfix investigation which involves an alleged conspiracy to manipulate ISDAfix. Four major banks pleaded guilty in 2015 and another agreed to plead guilty to manipulating LIBOR and other benchmark rates. None of the plea agreements prevent the Department of Justice from prosecuting individuals for related misconduct. The Justice Department is also investigating bid-rigging in the market for US government debt (Treasuries investigation).

The Division also recently announced that it expects to reveal new criminal investigations by the end of 2016.51

Conclusion

The past year's developments signal the Antitrust Division's continued focus on cartel enforcement with increasing corporate fines and lengthier prison sentences. The Division has levied charges against a number of individual offenders over the past year, ostensibly pursuant to a more aggressive policy to hold culpable executives accountable. 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.

Originally published in the "United States: Cartels" chapter of Global Competition Review's The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2017.

Footnotes

1 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Criminal Enforcement Trends Charts,' (11 December 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/criminal-enforcement-fine-and-jail-charts.2 Id.

3 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights,' (9 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/assistant-attorney-general-bill-baer-antitrust-division-testifies-senate-judiciary.

4 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Criminal Enforcement Trends Charts,' (11 December 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/criminal-enforcement-fine-and-jail-charts.

5 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Japanese Auto Parts Companies, U.S. Subsidiaries, and Five Executives Indicted for Rigging Automotive Parts Bids,' (15 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-japanese-auto-parts-companies-us-subsidiaries-and-five-executives-indicted-rigging.

6 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Assistant Attorney General Bill Baer of the Antitrust Division Testifies Before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights,' (9 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/assistant-attorney-general-bill-baer-antitrust-division-testifies-senate-judiciary.

7 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former CEO of Canadian Hazardous Waste Treatment Company Convicted of Conspiracy to Pay Kickbacks and Committing Major Fraud against the United States,' (16 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-ceo-canadian-hazardous-waste-treatment-company-convicted-conspiracy-pay-kickbacks-and.

8 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 https://www.justice.gov/dag/file/769036/download.

9 Id.

10 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder Delivers Remarks at the Yale Global Antitrust Enforcement Conference,' (19 February 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/deputy-assistant-attorney-general-brent-snyder-delivers-remarks-yale-global-antitrust.

11 Id.

12 Trade Regulation Reporter – Report Letter, 1466, Trade Regulation Reports.

13 Leah Nylen, 'Car Parts Maker KYB Becomes Second Company to Gain Compliance Credit in Antitrust Case,' Mlex (29 September 2015), available at www.mlex.com/GlobalAntitrust/DetailView.aspx?cid=723322&siteid=191&rdir=1.

14 14

15 MLex Market Insight, Report from the 64th ABA Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, 'US companies eager for more compliance-program guidance' (2016) at p. 71, available at http://mlexmarketinsight.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/MLex-ABA_Coverage_Spring_2016-LR-Updated-Version.pdf.

16 15 Id.

17 16

18 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell Speaks at SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society New York Regional Seminar,' (2 November 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/assistant-attorney-general-leslie-r-caldwell-speaks-sifma-compliance-and-legal-society.

19 Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, S. 1599, 114th Cong. (2015).

20 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Japanese Auto Parts Companies, U.S. Subsidiaries, and Five Executives Indicted for Rigging Automotive Parts Bids,' (15 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-japanese-auto-parts-companies-us-subsidiaries-and-five-executives-indicted-rigging.

21 Id.

22 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Corning International Kabushiki Kaisha to Pay $66.5 Million for Fixing Prices of Automotive Parts,' (16 May 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/corning-international-kabushiki-kaisha-pay-665-million-fixing-prices-automotive-parts; 'KYB Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $62 Million Criminal Fine for Fixing Price of Shock Absorbers,' (16 September 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/kyb-agrees-plead-guilty-and-pay-62-million-criminal-fine-fixing-price-shock-absorbers.

23 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Former Rabobank Traders Convicted for Manipulating U.S. Dollar, Yen LIBOR Interest Rates,' (5 November 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-former-rabobank-traders-convicted-manipulating-us-dollar-yen-libor-interest-rates.

24 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Former Rabobank Traders Sentenced to Prison for Manipulating U.S. Dollar and Japanese Yen LIBOR Interest Rates,' (10 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-former-rabobank-traders-sentenced-prison-manipulating-us-dollar-and-japanese-yen-libor.

25 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Former Deutsche Bank Employees Indicted on Fraud Charges in Connection with Long-Running Manipulation of Libor,' (2 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-former-deutsche-bank-employees-indicted-fraud-charges-connection-long-running.

26 Id.

27 In re: LIBOR-Based Financial Instruments Antitrust Litig., No. 13-3565 (2d Cir. 2016).

28 See In re Foreign Exch. Benchmark Rates Antitrust Litig., No. 1:13-cv-07789-LGS, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175877 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 15, 2015).

29 Joshua Sisco, 'Judge boosts Hitachi probation from three to five years, approves $3.8 million fine,' Mlex (9 June 2016), available at www.mlex.com/GlobalAntitrust/DetailView.aspx?cid=802591&siteid=191&rdir=1.

30 See U.S. v. NEC TOKIN Corp., Plea Agreement (filed 5 January 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/file/844121/download.

31 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Division Update Spring 2016: Prosecuting Collusion and Fraud at Real Estate Foreclosure Auctions' (8 April 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/division-operations/division-update-2016/real-estate-foreclosure-auctions.

32 Id.

33 Kathryn Leger, 'DoJ has new criminal antitrust investigations on horizon, official says – ABA California panel,' PaRR (1 July 2016), available at https://app.parr-global.com/intelligence/view/1418892?src_alert_id=135806.

34 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Upcoming Hearings in Pending Cases,' available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/upcoming-public-hearings-pending-cases#chang.

35 Richard Vanderford, 'DOJ official defends use of resources on foreclosure cases,' MLex (20 May 2015), available at www.mlex.com/GlobalAntitrust/DetailView.aspx?cid=783525&siteid=191&rdir=1.

36 Id.

37 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three Ocean Shipping Executives Indicted for Fixing Prices and Rigging Bids,' (6 October 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-ocean-shipping-executives-indicted-fixing-prices-and-rigging-bids.

38 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Fourth Ocean Shipping Executive Indicted for Price Fixing and Bid Rigging,' (7 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/fourth-ocean-shipping-executive-indicted-price-fixing-and-bid-rigging.

39 Id.

40 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'E-Commerce Exec and Online Retailer Charged with Price Fixing Wall Posters,' (4 December 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/e-commerce-exec-and-online-retailer-charged-price-fixing-wall-posters.

41 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former E-Commerce Executive Charged with Price Fixing in the Antitrust Division's First Online Marketplace Prosecution,' (6 April 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-e-commerce-executive-charged-price-fixing-antitrust-divisions-first-online-marketplace.

42 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former CEO of Canadian Hazardous Waste Treatment Company Convicted of Conspiracy to Pay Kickbacks and Committing Major Fraud against the United States,' (16 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-ceo-canadian-hazardous-waste-treatment-company-convicted-conspiracy-pay-kickbacks-and.

43 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Three German Executives Indicted for Participation in Parking Heater Price-Fixing Scheme,' (9 December 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/three-german-executives-indicted-participation-parking-heater-price-fixing-scheme.

44 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Water Treatment Chemicals Manufacturer Pleads Guilty in Conspiracy Aimed at Eliminating Competition,' (16 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/water-treatment-chemicals-manufacturer-pleads-guilty-conspiracy-aimed-eliminating-competition.

45 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former Executive Admits Guilt in Conspiracy Affecting Water Treatment Chemicals,' (27 October 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-executive-admits-guilt-conspiracy-affecting-water-treatment-chemicals.

46 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Two Executives Charged for Conspiring to Eliminate Competition to Supply Water Treatment Chemicals,' (19 February 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/two-executives-charged-conspiring-eliminate-competition-supply-water-treatment-chemicals.

47 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'MCC Construction Company Agrees to Pay Nearly $1.8 Million for Conspiring to Illegally Obtain Federal Contracts Meant for Small, Disadvantaged Businesses,' (2 February 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/mcc-construction-company-agrees-pay-nearly-18-million-conspiring-illegally-obtain-federal.

48 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former MCC Construction Company Officer and Owner Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Obstruct Government Proceeding,' (22 June 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-mcc-construction-company-officer-and-owner-pleads-guilty-conspiring-obstruct.

49 Joshua Sisco, 'Heir locator company, employee plead guilty to customer allocation,' MLex (16 June 2016), available at www.mlex.com/GlobalAntitrust/DetailView.aspx?cid=804437&siteid=191&rdir=1.

50 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'President of Heir Location Services Provider to Plead Guilty for Agreement Not to Compete,' (14 January 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/president-heir-location-services-provider-plead-guilty-agreement-not-compete.

51 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Judge Orders New Jersey Investor to Serve a Year in Prison for Bid Rigging at Tax Lien Auctions,' (29 March 2016), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/judge-orders-new-jersey-investor-serve-year-prison-bid-rigging-tax-lien-auctions.

52 U.S. Dep't of Justice, 'Former Sales Executive Pleads Guilty to Participation in Color Display Tube Conspiracy,' (18 November 2015), available at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-sales-executive-pleads-guilty-participation-color-display-tube-conspiracy.

53 Kathryn Leger, 'DoJ has new criminal antitrust investigations on horizon, official says – ABA California panel,' PaRR (1 July 2016), available at https://app.parr-global.com/intelligence/view/1418892?src_alert_id=135806.

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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.