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A manufacturer based in Japan has agreed to plead guilty and pay a $13.5 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices for small sized ball bearings sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced Feb. 2. The company has also agreed to cooperate in the DOJ’s ongoing antitrust investigation into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the bearings industry.
The DOJ notes that the Japanese company was charged with price fixing in violation of the Sherman Act, which carries a maximum penalty of a $100 million criminal fine for corporations that may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum.