Attorneys for the United States
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
The United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:
1. EASTMAN CHEMICAL COMPANY ("EASTMAN") is made a defendant on the charge stated below.
2. From in or about January 1995 until in or about June 1997, the defendant EASTMAN and co-conspirators participated in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the price of sorbates to be sold in the United States and elsewhere. The combination and conspiracy engaged in by the defendant and co-conspirators was in unreasonable restraint of interstate trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. § 1).
3. The charged combination and conspiracy consisted of a continuing agreement, understanding, and concert of action among the conspirators, the substantial terms of which were to agree to fix and maintain prices and to coordinate price increases for the sale of sorbates in the United States and elsewhere.
4. For the purpose of forming and carrying out the charged combination and conspiracy, the defendant and co-conspirators did those things that they combined and conspired to do, including, among other things:
5. EASTMAN is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware. During the period covered by this Information, EASTMAN was engaged in the business of producing and selling sorbates to customers in the United States and elsewhere.
6. Various corporations and individuals, not made defendants in this Information, participated as co-conspirators in the offense charged herein and performed acts and made statements in furtherance of it.
7. Whenever in this Information reference is made to any act, deed, or transaction of any corporation, the allegation means that the corporation engaged in the act, deed, or transaction by or through its officers, directors, employees, agents, or other representatives while they were actively engaged in the management, direction, control, or transaction of its business or affairs.
8. Sorbates are chemical preservatives used primarily as mold inhibitors in high-moisture and high-sugar food products. All references to sorbates in this Information include the products potassium sorbate and sorbic acid.
9. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant and co-conspirators sold and distributed sorbates in a continuous and uninterrupted flow of interstate commerce to customers located in states or countries other than the states or countries in which the defendant and co-conspirators produced sorbates.
10. The business activities of the defendant and co-conspirators that are the subject of this Information were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate trade and commerce.
11. The combination and conspiracy charged in this Information was carried out, in part, in the Northern District of California, within the five years preceding the filing of this Information.
ALL IN VIOLATION OF TITLE 15, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 1.