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Three Companies Agree to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors


The US Department of Justice announced this week that three companies have agreed to plead guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the US and elsewhere. The companies are Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co Ltd, and Holy Stone Holdings Co Ltd.

“The Antitrust Division has now charged five companies and one individual for their participation in this international price-fixing conspiracy,” Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, said in an August 23 Justice Department news release. “The electrolytic capacitors conspiracy affected millions of American consumers who use electronic devices containing capacitors every day.”

The division filed one-count felony charges against each of the three companies in US District Court in San Francisco. In addition to pleading guilty to the charges against them, each company has agreed to pay a criminal fine and to cooperate with the Division’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreements are subject to court approval.

NEC TOKIN Corp and Hitachi Chemical Co Ltd already pleaded guilty earlier to participating in the same worldwide conspiracy. NEC TOKIN was sentenced to pay a $13.8 million fine in January, while a $3.8 million fine was levied on Hitachi Chemical in June. In March of 2015, a grand jury indicted Takuro Isawa, a former Global Sales general manager for one of the capacitor manufacturers, for his alleged participation in the conspiracy.

This week’s charges resulted from an ongoing federal investigation by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office into price fixing, bid rigging, and other anticompetitive conduct in the capacitor industry. Anyone with information on price fixing, bid rigging or other anticompetitive conduct related to the capacitors industry should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center, tel (888) 647-3258, or or call the FBI tip line, (415) 553-7400.

The Justice Department released court documents on Elna, Holy Stone, and Rubycon.



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