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MARC SIEGEL
MICHAEL L. SCOTT
MEGAN DIXON
Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice
450 Golden Gate Avenue
Box 36046, Room 10-0101
San Francisco, CA 94102
Telephone: (415) 436-6660

Attorneys for the United States

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA



UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,    

                  Plaintiff,

                  v.

EASTMAN CHEMICAL COMPANY,   

                  Defendant.


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No. CR. 98 - 00302

INFORMATION

VIOLATION:
Title 15, United States Code
Section 1 (Price Fixing)

Filed: 09/30/98


The United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:

I.

DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE

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:

  1. participating in conversations to discuss the prices of sorbates sold in the United States;

  2. agreeing, during those conversations, to charge prices at certain levels and otherwise to increase and maintain prices of sorbates sold in the United States; and

  3. issuing price announcements and price quotations in accordance with the agreements reached.

II.

DEFENDANT AND CO-CONSPIRATORS

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.

III.

TRADE AND COMMERCE

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.

IV.

JURISDICTION AND VENUE

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.

Dated:

______________"/s/"_______________
Joel I. Klein
Assistant Attorney General

______________"/s/"_______________
Gary R. Spratling
Deputy Assistant Attorney General

______________"/s/"_______________
John T. Orr
Director of Criminal Enforcement

Attorneys, Antitrust Division
U.S. Department of Justice

______________"/s/"_______________
Robert S. Mueller III
Acting United States Attorney
Northern District of California

 

______________"/s/"_______________
Christopher S Crook
Chief, San Francisco Office

______________"/s/"_______________
Marc Siegel
Michael L. Scott
Megan Dixon

Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
450 Golden Gate Avenue
Box 36046, Room 10-0101
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 436-6660