Friday, May 20, 2005
There is a guilty plea for a former executive of Bayer AG, a German company, for his role in an "international conspiracy to fix prices in the rubber chemicals market." A DOJ press release provides explicit details of the conduct alleged and also states that this individual:
"was charged with fixing the prices of certain rubber chemicals sold in the United States and elsewhere from January 1999 until December 2001. Koch, a German national, was product manager of rubber chemicals at Bayer during the time he participated in the conspiracy. Under the plea agreement, which must be approved by the court, Koch has agreed to serve a four-month prison term, pay a $50,000 fine, and assist the government in its ongoing rubber chemicals investigation."
The press release notes that previously "Bayer AG and Crompton Corporation pleaded guilty to participating in the conspiracy and paid fines of $66 million and $50 million, respectively." Three other individuals related to this case also previously entered guilty pleas to antitrust charges.
With globalization, it is not surprising to see more and more white collar issues with international implications.