Record-Breaking Fines in the Largest Ever Antitrust Investigation

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In 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division obtained even more record-breaking fines in its ongoing antitrust investigation of the automobile parts industry. The investigation, which began in 2011, has uncovered more than a dozen separate conspiracies to fix the prices of, and rig bids on, over 30 different types of auto parts sold in the United States and abroad. To date, charges have been brought against 22 companies, all of whom have pled guilty, or have agreed to plead guilty, and will pay more than $1.8 billion in criminal fines for their participation in the cartel. In addition, all but six of the 26 executives charged have been sentenced to jail or have entered into plea agreements with the DOJ. This is by far the largest ever global antitrust investigation involving authorities from Asia to North America to Europe. As the investigation continues to expand, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said the DOJ, “will continue to check under every hood and kick every tire to make sure we put an end to this illegal and destructive conduct.” According to Holder, “Our work isn’t done.”

Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi, L.L.P. is one of three court appointed Co-Lead Counsel for a proposed class of end-payor plaintiffs in In re Automotive Parts Antitrust Litigation, a multidistrict litigation stemming from the DOJ’s criminal investigation, and pending in the Eastern District of Michigan before Judge Marianne Battani.

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