UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MICHIGAN
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
Judge: Cook, Julian Abele
MJ: Randon, Mark A.
Filed: 09-30-2010 At 08:32 AM
INFO USA V. PANASONIC CORPORATION(
Violation: 15 U.S.C. § 1
CONSPIRACY TO RESTRAIN TRADE
(15 U.S.C. § 1)
The United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:
- Panasonic Corporation ("Panasonic") is hereby made a defendant on the charge
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE
- Beginning at least as early as October 14, 2004, and continuing until on or about
December 31, 2007, the exact dates being unknown to the United States, the defendant and co-conspirators entered into and engaged in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by
fixing prices to customers of household compressors in the United States and elsewhere. For
purposes of this Information with defendant, "household compressors" means solely refrigerant
compressors for household use in refrigerators and freezers. The charged conspiracy
unreasonably restrained interstate trade and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman
Act (15 U.S.C. § 1).
- The charged conspiracy consisted of a continuing agreement, understanding, and
concert of action among the defendant and co-conspirators, the substantial terms of which were
to fix prices to customers of household compressors in the United States and elsewhere.
MEANS AND METHODS OF THE CONSPIRACY
- For the purposes of forming and carrying out the charged conspiracy, the
defendant and co-conspirators did the following things, among others:
- participated in meetings and conversations to discuss household
compressor customers in the United States and elsewhere;
- agreed, during those meetings and conversations, to coordinate prices of
household compressors in the United States and elsewhere;
- exchanged information during those meetings and conversations, for the
purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreements to coordinate prices of
household compressors in the United States and elsewhere; and
- coordinated prices for household compressor customers.
DEFENDANT AND CO-CONSPIRATORS
- Panasonic is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Japan and
does business in multiple countries with its principal place of business in Kadoma, Osaka, Japan.
- Various individuals and corporations, not made defendants in this Information,
participated as co-conspirators in the offense charged and performed acts and made statements in
furtherance of it.
- Whenever this Information refers to any act, deed, or transaction of any
corporation, it means that the corporation engaged in the act, deed, or transaction by or through
its officers, employees, agents, or other representatives while they were actively engaged in the
management, direction, control, or transactions of its business or affairs.
TRADE AND COMMERCE
- During the period covered by this Information, Panasonic and co-conspirators
produced household compressors and sold and shipped household compressors in a continuous
and uninterrupted flow of interstate and foreign commerce to customers located in the United
States and elsewhere.
- During the period covered by this Information, the business activities of
Panasonic and its co-conspirators in connection with household compressors which are the
subject of this Information were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and
foreign trade and commerce.
- The conspiracy charged in this Information was carried out, in part, within the
Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, within the five years proceeding the filing of
ALL IN VIOLATION OF TITLE 15, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 1.
s/CHRISTINE A. VARNEY
CHRISTINE A. VARNEY
Assistant Attorney General
s/SCOTT D. HAMMOND
SCOTT D. HAMMOND
Deputy Assistant Attorney General
Director of Criminal Enforcement
U.S. Department of Justice
s/SCOTT M. WATSON|
SCOTT M. WATSON
Chief, Cleveland Field Office
s/MICHAEL F. WOOD
MICHAEL F. WOOD
IAN D. HOFFMAN
ERIC M. MEIRING
U.S. Department of Justice
Carl B. Stokes U.S. Court House
801 W. Superior Avenue, 14th Fl.
Cleveland, OH 44113-1857
Telephone: (216) 687-8410
Fax: (216) 687-8423
Dated: September 30, 2010