September 13, 2009 |
Mark Whitacre is, according to one biographer, the highest-ranking corporate whistleblower ever. The former Archer Daniels Midland divisional president helped expose his company's involvement in an international price-fixing conspiracy that, as actor Matt Damon puts it, "robbed everyone in America and around the world, jacking up the price of everything in their kitchen cupboard." So when Damon and director Steven Soderbergh finally got to make "The Informant!" -- based on Kurt Eichenwald's chronicle of the case -- they naturally went for, well, laughs.
April 4, 2009 |
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday revived a class-action lawsuit accusing Arco, Chevron and several other refiners of conspiring to fix gasoline prices during the mid-1990s. But the same panel expressed doubt that the plaintiffs would be able to prove their case. The ruling stems from a suit filed by William O. Gilley on behalf of other wholesale buyers of the cleaner-burning fuel that since 1996 has been required in California.
March 12, 2009 |
Tariq Aziz, who once represented Saddam Hussein's Iraq to the world, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in prison for his involvement in the 1992 killing of 42 merchants accused of price-fixing. The court found Aziz guilty of premeditated murder and crimes against humanity. It was the first conviction for the onetime foreign minister and deputy prime minister; last week the Iraqi High Tribunal dismissed charges against him regarding Hussein's crushing of a 1999 Shiite Muslim revolt.
November 20, 2008 |
AT&T Inc. didn't conspire to fix the rate for long-distance surcharges paid by customers, a Kansas jury said Wednesday, rejecting a $400-million claim against the largest U.S. telephone company. The federal jury in Kansas City, Kan., also ordered AT&T to pay $16.9 million to California residential customers who accused the company of breach of contract in the same trial.
November 13, 2008 |
Three Asian electronics firms have agreed to plead guilty and pay $585 million in fines for conspiring to drive up the prices of LCD screens used in computers, TVs, cellphones and other electronic devices. In a plea deal filed Wednesday, LG Display Co., Sharp Corp. and Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. agreed to cooperate in an antitrust investigation headed by the U.S. Justice Department. The plea agreement was filed in federal court in San Francisco.
October 16, 2008 |
Dole Food Co. and Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. were fined 60.3 million euros ($82 million) by European Union regulators over claims that the banana importers fixed prices in eight countries from 2000 to 2002. Dole was fined 45.6 million euros and Fresh Del Monte is jointly responsible for a 14.7-million-euro fine along with Internationale Fruchtimport Gesellschaft Weichert & Co., the European Commission said in Brussels. Chiquita Brands International Inc. avoided a penalty of 83.
September 24, 2008 |
A federal investigation into possible food-price fixing has been expanded to include two major industries, tomato processing and egg products. The Justice Department confirmed Tuesday that prosecutors were conducting separate inquiries into whether the tomato and egg industries engaged in anti-competitive practices. Federal prosecutors also have been looking at possible price fixing in the citrus industry for at least a year.
June 14, 2008 |
Gas station owners, mechanics and car dealers have sued the nation's largest manufacturers of oil, air, transmission and fuel filters, accusing them of an almost decade-long conspiracy to drive up prices. More than 30 federal lawsuits alleging collusion have been filed in recent weeks in Connecticut, Illinois, Tennessee and New Jersey. Defendants include Honeywell International Inc., Champion Laboratories Inc. and Purolator Filters. "We don't believe there is any merit to this case whatsoever, and we will vigorously defend ourselves against it," said Camilla Denison, Champion's president.
May 21, 2008 |
The city of San Francisco is suing McKesson Corp. over allegations that the nation's largest prescription drug distributor fixed prices on hundreds of name-brand drugs. The suit alleges that San Francisco-based McKesson artificially hiked the difference between what pharmacies paid wholesalers and charged healthcare plans for the same drugs, costing the city and state hundreds of millions of dollars. McKesson denied the accusations and said it planned to "vigorously defend" itself against the suit.
April 26, 2008 |
A federal judge on Friday preliminarily approved an agreement by two British-based airlines to pay about $210 million to settle a massive price-fixing lawsuit that accused the carriers of colluding to gouge transatlantic passengers with fuel surcharges. U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer granted tentative approval for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to refund one-third of the surcharge paid by each of the airlines' passengers from Aug. 11, 2004, to March 23, 2006.