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MARC SIEGEL
MICHAEL L. SCOTT
STUART J. SEABORN
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

NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

                  v.

DAICEL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES,   
LTD.

               Defendant.


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No. CR 00 -0392 SI

INFORMATION
Filed: July 25, 2000

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

San Francisco Venue

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

I.

DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFENSE

1. DAICEL CHEMICAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. ("DAICEL") is made a defendant on the charge stated below.

2. From in or about January 1979 until in or about December 1996, defendant DAICEL and its coconspirators, entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices and allocating the volumes of sorbates 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 sorbates to be sold in the United States and elsewhere; and

  2. to agree to allocate among major sorbates producers the volumes of sorbates to be sold 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 volumes of sorbates 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 sorbates to be sold in the United States and elsewhere;

  3. agreeing, during those meetings and conversations, to allocate among major producers of sorbates the volumes of sorbates to be sold 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 sorbates in the United States and elsewhere, for the purpose of monitoring and enforcing adherence to the agreed-upon prices and sales volumes.

II.

DEFENDANT AND COCONSPIRATORS

5. DAICEL is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Japan. During the period covered by this Information, DAICEL was engaged in the business of producing and, through DAICEL's trading company, selling sorbates for resale to customers in 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. 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 its coconspirators sold and distributed sorbates 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 sorbates.

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.

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.


_______________/s/________________
Joel I. Klein
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/________________
Robert S. Mueller, III
United States Attorney
Northern District of California

_______________/s/________________
Christopher S Crook
Chief, San Francisco Office

_______________/s/________________
Marc Siegel
Michael L. Scott
Stuart J. Seaborn

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