A federal grand jury returned a second superseding indictment today charging three more executives from two different companies for conspiring to fix prices of electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today. This indictment supersedes a previous superseding indictment returned on Nov. 2, 2016, in which six individuals from four different companies were charged with price fixing.
The indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California in San Francisco, charges the following individuals for conspiring to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices of electrolytic capacitors:
• Takeshi Matsuzaka, an executive of Company A, who is charged with conspiring from approximately January 2003 until January 2014;
• Kaname Takahashi, also an executive of Company A, who is charged with conspiring from approximately July 2003 until April 2013; and
• Takuo Tatai, an executive of Company D, who is charged with conspiring from approximately January 2009 until January 2012.
“The executives charged today fixed the prices of an electronic component relied upon by American consumers to power devices that are central to our day-to-day life,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division. “The Antitrust Division will continue to pursue executives and companies who conspire to cheat consumers.”
Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engine and airbag systems, home appliances and office equipment.
Today's charges are the result of an ongoing federal antitrust investigation into anticompetitive conduct in the electrolytic capacitor industry, which is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's criminal enforcement sections and the FBI. A total of five companies and nine individuals have been charged in the division's ongoing investigation.
An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The charges today result from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation being conducted 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 capacitors industry. Anyone with information related to anticompetitive conduct in the capacitors industry should contact the Antitrust Division's Citizen Complaint Center at 1-888-647-3258, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htmlor call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.
Grand Jury Has Now Indicted Total of Nine Individuals in Long-Running Conspiracy
Topic: Antitrust Updated December 15, 2016
Northern District of California DOJ / 16-1474 / December 15, 2016