Categories:Crime,United States

Antitrust Division ends year with highest level of criminal fines ever in 122-year history of Sherman Antitrust Act

The Antitrust Division obtained more than $1.13bn in criminal fines in fiscal year 2012 (October 2011–September 2012), the highest in the 122-year history of the Sherman Antitrust Act. More impressive, this year’s fine total does not include the additional $218m the Antitrust Division secured for state and federal agencies in alternative penalties, disgorgement and restitution, in connection with the Municipal Bonds investigation. Including those figures, the Antitrust Division obtained a staggering $1.35bn from a mere 14 corporations in fiscal year 2012.

Two of the largest individual antitrust fines ever imposed account for 86 per cent of the Antitrust Division’s fine windfall this fiscal year. In January, Yazaki Corporation agreed to pay $470m — the second-largest criminal fine obtained for a Sherman Act violation — for fixing prices in the market for auto parts. And not to be outdone, in September AU Optronics (AUO) was penalised with a $500m fine for fixing prices in the TFT-LCD market. The $500m fine tied the largest individual fine ever imposed for a Sherman Act violation…

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