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DEFENDING AGAINST ANTICOMPETITIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES:
Just say no to international cartels

09/30/03

Historical political cartoon regarding corporate monopoliesOn September 29, one of the largest parcel tanker shippers in the world, based in Norway -- and two of its executives -- pled guilty in an antitrust investigation
conducted by the Philadelphia Antitrust Division, staffed with Department of Justice attorneys and FBI investigators.

What was the crime?

Participating in an international cartel to divide up customers, to rig bids, and to fix prices on contracts to ship chemicals to and from the United States. What was the plea?

The company has agreed to pay a $42.5 million fine, and the executives will serve time in prison. Both executives are Norwegians who will voluntarily surrender to U.S. custody to serve their prison terms.

What was the message?

"The charges and the agreed-upon sentences should send a strong deterrent message to those who participate in international cartels that target American businesses and consumers," said James M. Griffin, Deputy Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division's Criminal Enforcement Program.

What's next?

The investigation is continuing. If you have any information about anticompetitive conduct in the parcel tanker shipping industry, please contact Special Agent John Sharp at the Philadelphia Antitrust Field Office at 215-597-7412.

If you have any information about price fixing or collusion among competitors, please call or e-mail Bob Connolly at 215-597-7405 or robert.connolly@usdoj.gov.