Criminal antitrust fines top $1bn mark again in 2013

The Antitrust Division obtained more than $1.02bn (£630m) in criminal fines in fiscal year 2013 (October 2012–September 2013), which officially closed yesterday. Fiscal year 2013 marks the second year in a row that the division has eclipsed $1bn in fines, but only the third time in the history of the now 123-year-old Sherman Act that fines have exceeded that threshold.

The Antitrust Division’s investigations into collusion surrounding LIBOR and into price fixing and bid rigging in the auto-parts sector dominated the criminal antitrust enforcement agenda in fiscal year 2013. The fines imposed in these investigations accounted for nearly 99 per cent of the fiscal year total.

This year’s fine total is due in large part to a group of plea agreements in the auto-parts investigation inked in the final days of the fiscal year, which yielded a total of $740m (£457m) in criminal fines…

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