Friday, December 21, 2007
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Investigations of price fixing among chocolate companies has moved south of the border from Canada to the United States. Today's WSJ reports that DOJ has begun investigating price fixing by chocolate producers.
I have general suggestions for big corporations that sell products to end consumers that might raise significant consumer ire if there were price fixing (people understand very well that cartels rip you off if a bar of chocolate that should cost $1.00 costs $1.20 because of price fixing as opposed to things that most consumers don't understand like lysine and so you will lose lots of goodwill in additional to your civil and criminal sanctions if you price fix):
1. Make sure that you have an antitrust compliance program in place;
2. Make sure that your firm's governance structure facilitates involvement and oversight by your general counsel's office and compliance team;
3. Be the first one to the door at DOJ to ask for leniency; and
4. Make sure that you have Don Klawiter's number in case you get caught.