• Japan's plea bargaining system likely to increase corporate risks, complicate antitrust-defense strategies
    05 July 2018
    Japan's recent introduction of a system for plea bargaining increases the risk that companies and their employees could face criminal investigations for anticompetitive conduct in the future, although such charges have been rare in the past. While prosecutors say they will use the new system cautiously, the risk of criminal punishments will add a new element to the antitrust strategies of companies in Japan.

    The adoption of the plea bargaining system is aimed at combatting organized crime, including antitrust violations.

    Under the system, which took effect on June 1 as part of an amendment two years ago of the code on criminal procedure, suspects and defendants can avoid indictment or receive lighter sentences if they provide evidence and testimony to uncover crimes by other people.

    By Sachiko Sakamaki

    To request the full article please click here >

  • Brazil ruling on Curitiba taxi price fixing delayed
    04 July 2018
    Seven taxi associations from the Brazilian city of Curitiba under investigation in a price-fixing probe will have to wait longer than expected for a decision on the case.

    The country’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense, or CADE, began deliberation on the matter today, but councilor Cristiane Alkmin Junqueira Schmidt asked to postpone the decision to check the fines set out by the lead councilor.

    Paula Farani de Azevedo voted to impose 159,610 reais ($40,873) in fines on each of the taxi associations. Individuals linked to these associations would be sanctioned with 15,961 reais ($4,087) in fines.

    By Rodrigo Russo

    To request the full article please click here >

  • Mastercard, Visa suffer UK fee-dispute defeat in appeal court
    04 July 2018
    Mastercard and Visa suffered a court defeat at the hands of UK appeal judges today following a slew of retailers' antitrust lawsuits against the payment card operators over their multilateral interchange fees.

    Handing down the keenly awaited judgment at the Court of the Appeal in London, Judge Terence Etherton ruled that Mastercard and Visa's interchange fees were unlawful. The ruling could expose them to damages claims running potentially into billions of pounds.

    The court sided with Mastercard on a single argument, namely a claim by supermarket chain J Sainsbury relating to so-called counterfactuals, or conditions that would be present without the fees and their alleged anticompetitive market effects. On this point, Etherton said the Competition Appeal Tribunal, a specialized competition court, erred in legal analysis.

    By Simon Zekaria

    To request the full article please click here >

  • Printeos fights for interest, compensation for illegal cartel fine in EU court
    03 July 2018
    Envelope maker Printeos today told EU judges that it should receive interest and compensation on an antitrust fine that it paid to the European Commission, but later recovered after winning a court challenge.

    The case centers on the commission’s practice of investing antitrust fines while companies appeal its decisions.

    While a company that is successful on appeal would routinely keep all gains generated from the paid fine, between 2015 and 2016 the commission's investment fund struggled and lost money. The regulator therefore paid Printeos back the amount of the fine — 4.7 million euros ($5.47 million today) — but refused to pay any interest.

    By Nicholas Hirst

    To request the full article please click here >

  • Miami court declines to release shipping executive on bond pending price-fixing trial
    03 July 2018
    A Miami federal court declined Tuesday to release on bond the owner of a Louisiana shipping company accused of fixing prices on freight forwarding services between the US and Honduras.

    US Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley determined federal prosecutors had established enough proof to believe Roberto Dip, owner of Dip Shipping, is a flight risk because US prosecutors would not be able to extradite him from Honduras.

    "I think there is no bond that would reasonably assure your appearance," McAliley said. "If you were to get a bond and decided not to appear for trial, you are smart and sophisticated enough to find a way to Honduras. And without extradition, the criminal case would terminate."

    By Francisco Alvarado

    To request the full article please click here >