Rubycon Plea Agreement: What You Need to Know
On May 17, 2021, Rubycon Corporation, a Japanese manufacturer of capacitors, pleaded guilty to participating in a global conspiracy to fix prices and allocate customers for electrolytic capacitors sold in the United States and elsewhere. The company agreed to pay a criminal fine of $7.5 million and cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation.
What are electrolytic capacitors?
Electrolytic capacitors are electronic components that store energy in an electrical field. They are commonly used in consumer electronics, such as TVs, computers, and smartphones, as well as in industrial equipment, such as power supplies and inverters.
Why did Rubycon engage in price-fixing?
According to the plea agreement, Rubycon and its co-conspirators agreed to increase prices for electrolytic capacitors and to allocate customers among themselves in violation of U.S. antitrust laws. The conspiracy lasted from at least 2002 until at least 2014 and affected millions of consumers and businesses worldwide.
What are the consequences of price-fixing?
Price-fixing is a serious crime that harms consumers and businesses by artificially inflating prices and restricting competition. In addition to facing criminal fines and penalties, companies that engage in price-fixing may also face civil lawsuits from affected parties, including customers and suppliers.
What should consumers and businesses do?
Consumers and businesses should be aware of the risks of price-fixing and work with reputable suppliers and manufacturers. If they suspect price-fixing or other anticompetitive behavior, they should report it to the appropriate authorities, such as the U.S. Department of Justice`s Antitrust Division or the Federal Trade Commission.
In conclusion, the Rubycon plea agreement serves as a reminder that price-fixing and other anticompetitive practices are illegal and harmful to consumers and businesses alike. Companies must be held accountable for their actions and consumers and businesses must remain vigilant to protect themselves from such practices.