Three Companies Agree to Plead Guilty for Fixing Prices of Electrolytic Capacitors
Rubycon, Elna and Holy Stone Are Latest Companies to Plead Guilty in Ongoing Investigation
Rubycon Corporation, Elna Co., Ltd. and Holy Stone Holdings Co., Ltd. will plead guilty for their roles in a conspiracy to fix prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the United States and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.
“The Antitrust Division has now charged five companies and one individual for their participation in this international price-fixing conspiracy,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “The electrolytic capacitors conspiracy affected millions of American consumers who use electronic devices containing capacitors every day.”
Electrolytic capacitors store and regulate electrical current in a variety of electronic products, including computers, televisions, car engine and airbag systems, home appliances and office equipment.
The division filed one-count felony charges against each of the three companies in U.S. District Court in San Francisco today. In addition to pleading guilty to the charges against them, each company has agreed to pay a criminal fine and cooperate with the division’s ongoing investigation. The plea agreements are subject to court approval.
Previously, NEC TOKIN Corp. and Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. pleaded guilty to participating in the same worldwide conspiracy. NEC TOKIN was sentenced to pay a fine of $13.8 million in January 2016, and Hitachi Chemical was sentenced to pay a fine of $3.8 million in June 2016. On March 12, 2015, a grand jury indicted Takuro Isawa, a former Global Sales General Manager for one of the capacitor manufacturers, for his alleged participation in the conspiracy.
The charges today results from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Field Office into price fixing, bid rigging and other anticompetitive conduct in the capacitor industry. Anyone with information on price fixing, bid rigging or other anticompetitive conduct related to the capacitors industry should contact the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 1-888-647-3258, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.html or call the FBI tip line at 415-553-7400.