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MARC SIEGEL (CSBN 142071)
DANA R. WAGNER (CSBN 209099)
U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
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
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,  

                 Plaintiff,

                  v.

HOECHST AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT,     

                  Defendant.


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No. CR 03 - 0035VRW
Original Filed 2/6/03
INFORMATION

VIOLATION:
Title 15, United States Code,
Section 1 (Price Fixing, Market-
Share Allocation)

San Francisco Venue



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

I.

DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE

1.  HOECHST AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT ("HOECHST") is made a defendant on the charge stated below.

2.  Beginning in or about September 1995 and continuing until in or about June 1997, defendant HOECHST and its coconspirators entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices and allocating the market shares of monochloroacetic acid and sodium monochloroacetate (collectively referred to as "MCAA") to be sold in the United States and elsewhere. The combination and conspiracy engaged in by the defendant and its coconspirators was in unreasonable restraint of interstate and foreign 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 defendant and its coconspirators, the substantial terms of which were:

  1. to agree to fix and maintain prices and to coordinate price increases for MCAA to be sold in the United States and elsewhere; and

  2. to agree to allocate among major MCAA producers the market shares of MCAA to be sold by each in the United States and elsewhere.

4.  For the purpose of forming and carrying out the charged combination and conspiracy, the defendant and its coconspirators did those things that they combined and conspired to do, including, among other things:

  1. participating in meetings and conversations to discuss the prices and market shares of MCAA to be sold in the United States and elsewhere;

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

  3. agreeing, during those meetings and conversations, to allocate among major producers of MCAA the market shares of MCAA to be sold by each in the United States and elsewhere;

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

  5. exchanging information on sales of MCAA in the United States and elsewhere for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon market shares.

II.

DEFENDANT AND COCONSPIRATORS

5. HOECHST is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. During the period covered by this Information, HOECHST was engaged in the business of producing MCAA and exporting it to the United States and elsewhere.

6. Various corporations and individuals, not made defendants in this Information, participated as coconspirators in the offense charged in this Information 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. MCAA is a reactive chemical compound that is used to form a number of intermediate chemicals. Markets for MCAA and its derivatives include drilling fluids, plastic stabilizers, herbicides, and pharmaceuticals.

9. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant and its coconspirators sold and distributed MCAA in a continuous and uninterrupted flow of interstate and foreign trade and commerce to customers located in states or countries other than the states or countries in which the defendant and its coconspirators produced MCAA.

10. The business activities of the defendant and its coconspirators that are the subject of this Information were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and foreign trade and commerce.

ALL IN VIOLATION OF TITLE 15, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 1.

Dated:

/s/
______________________________
R. Hewitt Pate
Acting Assistant Attorney General

/s/
________________________________
James M. Griffin
Deputy Assistant Attorney General



/s/
________________________________
Scott D. Hammond
Director of Criminal Enforcement

United States Department of Justice
Antitrust Division

/s/
________________________________
Kevin V. Ryan
United States Attorney
Northern District of California

/s/
___________________________
Phillip H. Warren
Chief, San Francisco Office

/s/
___________________________
Marc Siegel
Dana R. Wagner

Attorneys
U.S. Department of Justice
Antitrust Division
450 Golden Gate Ave
Box 36046, Room 10-0101
San Francisco, CA 94102