FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
The United States of America, acting through its attorneys, charges:
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE
1. Merck KGaA ("the defendant"), a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Germany, is made a defendant on the charge stated below.
2. Beginning at least in early 1991 and continuing into at least Fall 1995, the exact dates being unknown to the United States, the defendant and co-conspirators entered into and participated in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the price and allocating the volume of vitamin C manufactured by the defendant and its co-conspirators and sold by them in the United States and elsewhere. The combination and conspiracy engaged in by the defendant and its co-conspirators 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 co-conspirators regarding vitamin C manufactured by the corporate conspirators and sold by them in the United States and elsewhere, the substantial terms of which were to:
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. Vitamins are organic compounds required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth and maintenance of life. Vitamins are essential sources of certain coenzymes necessary for metabolism, the biochemical processes that support life. All known vitamins have been synthesized chemically, and various such synthesized vitamins are manufactured and sold by the defendant and its corporate co-conspirators.
6. Vitamins are necessary for the normal and healthy growth and development of both humans and animals. Large quantities of vitamin C are sold to customers in the human food, pharmaceutical and animal feed industries.
DEFENDANT AND CO-CONSPIRATORS
7. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant was a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Germany, with its principal place of business in Darmstadt, Germany. The defendant is engaged in the manufacture and sale of vitamin C in the United States and elsewhere.
8. Various corporations and individuals not made defendants herein participated as co-conspirators in the offense charged herein and performed acts and made statements in furtherance thereof.
9. Wherever in this Information reference is made to any act, deed, or transaction of a corporation, the allegation means that the corporation engaged in the act, deed, or transaction by or through its officers, directors, agents, employees, or representatives while they were actively engaged in the management, direction, control, or transaction of its business or affairs.
TRADE AND COMMERCE
10. During the period covered by this Information, the defendant and its co-conspirators sold and distributed a substantial quantity of vitamin C subject to the charged conspiracy 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 vitamin C was produced.
11. During the period covered by this Information, the activities of the defendant and co-conspirators that are the subject of this Information were within the flow of, and substantially affected, interstate and foreign trade and commerce.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
12. The combination and conspiracy charged in this Information was carried out, in part, within the Northern District of Texas within the five years preceding the filing of this Information.
ALL IN VIOLATION OF TITLE 15, UNITED STATES CODE, SECTION 1.