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Criminal Antitrust/Cartel Investigations

Allegations of price-fixing and cartel conduct pose enormous reputational risk even beyond the risk of harsh monetary fines and jail for executives. International businesses turn to Arnold & Porter for effective engagement with competition enforcement authorities, often across multiple jurisdictions, paired with an experienced team of litigators to effectively handle follow-on civil litigation. Because high-stakes cartel investigations often involve multiple international jurisdictions with enforcers often sharing leads and information, our team engages with a coordinated multijurisdictional approach to factual and strategic issues, including potential amnesty/leniency considerations. Our attorneys in the U.S. and Europe, a number of whom are former government officials, work in tandem with a network of highly regarded competition counsel in key jurisdictions across the globe to implement comprehensive cartel defense strategies.

  • Deep Understanding of Government Prosecutors: Our team consists of many former U.S. government prosecutors and senior officials from the FTC, DOJ, and the European Commission, as well as a former U.S. Attorney and a number of former Assistant U.S. Attorneys.

  • Regular Engagement With Competition Enforcers: Our frequent dealings with the competition enforcement agencies provide our antitrust attorneys with valuable insight and credibility.

  • Comprehensive Capabilities: Government criminal enforcement — even rumors of such enforcement — almost inevitably lead to private class actions. Our team of criminal antitrust lawyers also has deep experience in private class action antitrust litigation and the full resources of the firm's offices across the U.S. and Europe can address follow-on private litigation.

Experience Highlights

  • Minebea Co., Ltd. in a US DOJ criminal investigation into alleged price-fixing with regard to small-sized ball bearings and related civil class action litigation. U.S. v. Minebea Co.

  • Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd. in an antitrust investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice relating to automotive anti-vibration rubber products. U.S. v. Yamashita Rubber Co., Ltd.

  • Heineken in addressing a pan-European trucks fleet matter in relation to damages arising out of the EU trucks cartel.

  • Major worldwide supplier of services in conducting an extensive internal audit in connection with suspected antitrust infringements and submitting immunity applications to the EC for multiple national jurisdictions in Europe.

  • Two Japanese executives of a maritime shipping company in an antitrust criminal investigation of the international car shipping industry.
  • Global manufacturer of electronics equipment in an investigation by the EC into an alleged cartel, including the submission of a leniency application and follow-up with the Commission.

  • Worldwide manufacturer of industrial equipment in an ongoing investigation by the EC into an alleged cartel.

  • Worldwide producer of fast-moving consumer goods in an ongoing investigation by the Belgian competition authority into an alleged cartel.

  • Japanese automotive parts manufacturer in DOJ and EC investigations into potential cartel activities relating to bidding and pricing practices for certain auto components.