Hitachi Chemical Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing
Hitachi Chemical Co. Ltd. is the second capacitor manufacturer to plead guilty to fixing prices for electrolytic capacitors in the U.S. between 2002 and 2010, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2015, NEC Tokin Corp. plead guilty to fixing prices for electrolytic capacitors sold to customers in the U.S. between 2002 and 2013. “
Hitachi Chemical subsidiaries and co-conspirators fixed the prices of capacitors, a fundamental component of widely used electronic products,” said Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brent Snyder, in a press release. “This is the second guilty plea in this investigation, and we will continue to pursue companies and individuals that conspire to undermine competition for technology components of all shapes and sizes.” Hitachi will also pay a criminal fine, and the plea agreement is subject to court approval. NEC TOKIN was sentenced to pay a fine of $13.8 million. These charges are a result of a 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 anti-competitive conduct in the capacitor industry.” The public affairs office of the DOJ did not respond to questions regarding the ongoing investigation, and in particular, other capacitor manufacturers or product types under investigation.