Antitrust Law Daily Rubycon agrees to $12M fine for role in electrolytic capacitors price fixing conspiracy
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Friday, September 9, 2016

Rubycon agrees to $12M fine for role in electrolytic capacitors price fixing conspiracy

By Michael Menzhuber, J.D., LL.M.

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division is recommending that Rubycon be sentenced to pay a $12 million fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for electrolytic capacitors (U.S. v. Rubycon Corp. No. CR-16-0367-JD).

In August 2016, the Department of Justice announced that Rubycon, along with Elna Co., Ltd. and Holy Stone Holdings Co., Ltd., agreed to plead guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors, which are used to store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products (computers, televisions, car engines, etc.). According to the government’s complaint, Rubycon allegedly participated in the conspiracy from about August 2002 until January 2014.

According to the Antitrust Division’s sentencing memorandum, the parties agreed that the fine should be $30.7 million but determined that Rubycon only had the financial ability to pay $15 million. The fine was further reduced to $12 million based on Rubycon’s substantial cooperation. There is no call for restitution.

In addition to the $12 million fine (payable over five years in installments of $500,000; $500,000; $1.5 million; $2.5 million; $3.5 million; and $3.5 million), Rubycon agreed to a five-year term of probation during which it would:

  • develop and implement an effective corporate compliance program consistent with sentencing guidelines;
  • provide an annual written report on its compliance program to the Antitrust Division and the Probation Office;
  • not commit another federal, state, or local crime;
  • notify the court of any material change in its economic circumstances; and
  • pay the fine imposed.

The parties also requested that the plea and sentencing both take place on September 28, or on the earliest date on the court’s calendar.

Companies: Rubycon Corp.

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