DOJ criminal antitrust revenues top $1 billion for 2011, up 78 percent

Josh Peterson Tech Editor
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The Justice Department‘s 2011 revenues from the prosecution of criminal antitrust offenders were up 78 percent from the previous year, and totaled over $1 billion, according to a January 9 report from the Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher law firm.

The report indicated that the DOJ’s antitrust criminal fines and other monetary assessments totaled $1.032 billion last year. Furukawa Electric Co, Samsung SDI and Hitachi-LG Data Storage were among the companies assessed criminal fines of $20 million or more for violations of the Sherman Act between October 2010 and September 2011.

The Justice Department ordered Furukawa to pay $200 million in criminal fines.

“The total payments consist of an estimated $523 million in criminal fines and more than $500 million in restitution, penalities, and disgorgement paid to state and federal agencies,” said the report.

“This staggering amount represents an increase of more than 78% from FY 2010 and sends a clear message to the corporate world that DOJ’s zealous pursuit of large fines for collusive conduct continues unabated,” said the report.

The Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher report also showed that while the amount of money collected in fines was at a high water mark, incarceration statistics were at multi-year lows.

“The number of individuals sentenced to prison decreased 28% to just 21 defendants, the length of the average prison sentence fell 44% to 17 months, and the total prison time imposed on defendants dropped 60% to 10,544 days,” said the report.

The DOJ’s Antitrust Division has taken in $2.6 billion in revenues from criminal antitrust cases during Attorney General Eric Holder’s tenure as head of the Department of Justice, including DOJ fiscal year 2009, 2010 and 2011.

“Given the Antitrust Division’s numerous ongoing investigations — a number of which involve large, complex, international cartel matters that have not yet been announced publicly — we expect 2012 to be another banner year in criminal antitrust enforcement,” said the report.

The Justice Department did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.

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