| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 1995
TDD (202) 514-1888
PITTSBURGH METALS PRODUCER PLEADS GUILTY IN NATIONWIDE
PRICE FIXING CONSPIRACY
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The subsidiary of one of the world's leading producers of ferrosilicon products, which are used in the production of steel and cast iron, pleaded guilty today to conspiring to fix prices of commodity ferrosilicon products, said the Department of Justice.
The criminal case, filed by the Department's Antitrust Division in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York, charged Elkem Metals Company, a subsidiary of Elkem A/S of Norway, with participating in a conspiracy between late 1989 and mid 1991 to fix prices of commodity ferrosilicon products sold in the United States. Commodity ferrosilicon products are alloys of iron and silicon, used primarily in the production of steel and cast iron to improve the properties of the finished product such as its strength and corrosion resistance. Sales in the ferrosilicon products industry is more than $100 million a year.
Anne K. Bingaman, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, said the charges resulted from a grand jury investigation in Buffalo, New York, into suspected collusion by companies in the ferroalloys industry. The ongoing investigation is being conducted by the Division's New York Field Office with the assistance of the Buffalo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The maximum penalty for a corporation convicted of a violation of the Sherman Act committed after November 16, 1990, is a fine of not more than the greatest of $10 million, twice the pecuniary gain the corporation derived from the crime, or twice the pecuniary loss to the victims of the crime.