| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1996
TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON, D.C. A Minnesota advertising display executive agreed to plead guilty today and pay a $350,000 criminal antitrust fine for rigging bids and fixing prices on advertising display contracts to U.S. breweries, said the Department of Justice.
The Department's Antitrust Division filed criminal charges today in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee against Zelman Levine of Minnesota, for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices on point-of-purchase display contracts to U.S. breweries over a 10 year period. Levine is the former president of Lakeside Ltd. Inc., a Minneapolis point-of-purchase display supplier.
Levine has also agreed to cooperate in the Department's ongoing investigation of collusive practices by suppliers of point-of-purchase displays.
"The Antitrust Division is committed to investigating anticompetitive conduct in the display industry," said Joel I. Klein, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.
Point-of-purchase displays include plastic and neon bar taps, clocks, inflatables, lamps, lights, and signs which contain the breweries' brand advertising. The major breweries in the U.S. purchase more than $100 million of these displays each year.
The case charges that Levine and his co-conspirators conspired to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing the prices, rigging bids, and allocating contracts for the sale of point-of-purchase displays to breweries from the mid-1980's to January 1996 in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
The investigation in Milwaukee is being conducted by the Antitrust Division's Chicago Field Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Milwaukee with the assistance of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin.
The maximum penalty for an individual convicted of a violation of the Sherman Act committed after November 16, 1990, is three years in prison and a fine not to exceed the greatest of $350,000, twice the gain the individual derived from the crime or twice the loss caused to the victims of the crime.