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U.S. v. Bridgestone Corp.

U.S. v. Bridgestone Corp.

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Published by Mike Koehler

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Categories:Business/Law
Published by: Mike Koehler on Sep 16, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/09/2012

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United
States
DistrictCourt
Southern
DISt.
ret
of
Texas
FILED
UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURT
SEP152011
SOUTHERNDISTRICTOFTEXAS
Dav'd
HOUSTONDIVISION
1
J.
Bradley,ClerkofCourt
)
)
)))))
)
-------------------------------)
UNITEDSTATESOFAMERICACriminalNo._v.BRIDGESTONECORPORATION,Defendant.
CRIMINALINFORMATION
TheUnitedStateschargesthat:BACKGROUND
1.
BeginningatleastasearlyasJanuary1999andcontinuinguntilinoraroundMay2007(the"RelevantPeriod"),thedefendant,BRIDGESTONECORPORATION("BRIDGESTONE"),wasanentityorganizedandexistingunderthelawsofJapan,withitsprincipalplaceofbusinessinTokyo,Japan.DuringtheRelevantPeriod,BRIDGESTONE'Sbusinessincludedthemanufactureandsaleofdiversifiedproducts.BRIDGESTONE'SDiversifiedProductssegmentcomprisedvariousdivisions,includingIndustrialProducts,ChemicalProducts,andElectro-Materials.TheInternationalEngineeredProductsDepartment("IEPD")waspartoftheIndustrialProductsDivision.IEPDwasresponsiblefortheexportandsalesofmarinehoseandotherindustrialproducts,includingmarinefenders,conveyorbelts,andrubberdams.Marinehoseisaflexiblerubberhoseusedtotransferoilbetweentankersandstoragefacilitiesand/orbuoys.Typically,IEPDdidnotconductdirectsales,butrathercoordinatedwithBRIDGESTONE'ssubsidiaries.IEPD,withthehelpofBRIDGESTONE's
 
subsidiaries,utilizedlocalagentstosellitsproductsinanumberofcountries,includinginLatinAmerica.2.DuringtheRelevantPeriod,BRIDGESTONE'SU.S.subsidiary,BridgestoneIndustrialProductsofAmericaInc.("BIPA"),washeadquarteredintheUnitedStatesandsoldmarinehoseandotherindustrialproductsinNorth,CentralandSouthAmerica.BIPA'sHouston,TexasofficesoldmarinehoseandotherindustrialproductstocustomersinLatinAmerica.COUNT1ConspiracytoViolatetheShermanAct(15U.S.C.
§
1)DESCRIPTIONOFTHEOFFENSE3.Paragraphs1and2arereallegedandincorporatedbyreferenceasthoughfullysetforthherein.4.Beginningatleastasearlyas1999andcontinuinguntilinoraroundMay2007,theexactdatesbeingunknowntotheUnitedStates,inHouston,TexasintheSouthernDistrictofTexas,andelsewhere,thedefendant,BRIDGESTONECORPORATION,didenterintoandengageinacombinationandconspiracytosuppressandeliminatecompetitionbyriggingbids,fixingpricesandallocatingmarketsharesforsalesofmarinehoseintheUnitedStatesandelsewhere.Thecombinationandconspiracyengagedinbythedefendantandco-conspiratorswasinunreasonablerestraintofinterstateandforeigntradeandcommerceinviolationofSection1oftheShermanAct(l5U.S.C.§1).5.Thechargedcombinationandconspiracyconsistedofacontinuingagreement,understanding,andconcertofactionamongthedefendantandco-conspirators,thesubstantial
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termsofwhichweretorigbids,fixpricesandallocatemarketsharesforsalesofmarinehoseintheUnitedStatesandelsewhere.MEANSANDMETHODSOFTHECONSPIRACY6.Forthepurposeofformingandcarryingoutthechargedcombinationandconspiracy,thedefendantandco-conspiratorsdidthosethingsthattheycombinedandconspiredtodo,including,amongotherthings:(a)attendedmeetingsandengagedindiscussionsintheUnitedStatesandelsewherebytelephone,facsimileandelectronicmailregardingthesaleofmarinehose;(b)agreedduringthosemeetingsanddiscussionstoallocatesharesofthemarinehosemarketamongtheconspirators;(c)agreedduringthosemeetingsanddiscussionstoapricelistformarinehoseinordertoimplementandmonitortheconspiracy;.(d)agreedduringthosemeetingsanddiscussionsnottocompeteforoneanother'scustomers,eitherbynotsubmittingpricesorbidstocertaincustomersorbysubmittingintentionallyhighpricesorbidstocertaincustomers;(e)submittedbidsinaccordancewiththeagreementsreached;(f)providedinformationreceivedfromcustomersintheUnitedStatesandelsewhereaboutupcomingmarinehosejobstoaco-conspiratorwhowasnotanemployeeofanyofthemarinehosemanufacturers,butwhoservedasthecoordinatoroftheconspiracy,actedasaclearinghouseforinformationtobesharedamongtheconspirators,andwaspaidbythe
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