August 14, 2005
Former Bayer Execs Charged with Antitrust Violation
Two former executives of Bayer have been indicted for price-fixing. The Department of Justice press release reports here that:
"The former Bayer executives were charged with carrying out the conspiracy with their co-conspirators by:
- Participating in meetings among major rubber chemical producers to discuss the prices of rubber chemicals to be sold in the United States and elsewhere;
- Agreeing, during those discussions and meetings, to increase prices of rubber chemicals to be sold in the United States and elsewhere;
- Participating in discussions and meetings concerning implementation and adherence to the agreement reached; and
- Issuing price announcements and price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached."
Both individuals indicted are German citizens. It appears from this press release that the conduct occurred extraterritorially. It seems likely that the government is using the principle of "objective territoriality" to acquire jurisdiction. Whether this is in fact the case, and whether jurisdiction will be contested by the accused, remains to be seen. One of the concerns that needs to be considered here is whether the prosecution of non-US businesspeople will open the door tor other nations prosecuting individuals from the US who are doing business abroad.
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