Understanding, Detecting, & Reporting Antitrust Violations. Howard J. Parker & Lidia Maher U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division San Francisco Field Office Jonathan A. Mark Washington State Office of the Attorney General Antitrust Division. DEPT. OF GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
Reporting Antitrust Violations
Howard J. Parker & Lidia Maher
U.S. Department of Justice
San Francisco Field Office
Jonathan A. Mark
Washington State Office of the Attorney General
DEPT. OF GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
WASHINGTON STATE AGENCIES
June 11, 2009
Civil enforcement of the antitrust statutes in the Consumer Protection Act, our “baby Sherman Act.” Federal law is persuasive but not binding. So, pay attention to federal law overview, the same concepts apply in state law
Damages and restitution for state and local governmental agencies and consumers.
Civil penalties: $100k for individuals; $500k for corporations.
Civil enforcement of federal antitrust laws, in close coordination with the DOJ and the FTC.
Competition advocacy (bills, amicus)
Largest Single Fine – $500 Million
Largest Single Case – $1.6 Billion
Recent Jail Sentences – 7 1/2 years
“Price war is over between Smith & Smith and Jay-Em.”
-- Presidents of Jay-Em and Smith & Smith, 1986
Prices increased significantly – 60% jump between ’85 and ’86.
No economic explanation to support such a significant price
Bidder #1 awards subcontract, or pays kickback to Bidder #2.
No significant cost advantage due to geographic location. Bid pattern continued even
when more projects offered in one area over other areas.
Minimum of three bids required. Companies either with no interest in project, or in
existence only on paper, submit high bids so friend will get the project.
Large quantity of projects almost equally divided on a dollar amount basis between
The Corps opened the bids on August 18, 1987.
The low bidder submitted a bid of $39,493,000.
The other three bidders bid in excess of $40 million.
$150,000 Kickbacks $35,000
Bid prices significantly over engineer’s estimate. Competing bidder given
subcontract on project.
Bidder #2 expressed interest in obtaining project. Had
capability and resources to do the project.
Period of significant bid competition
during periods of both high and low
end product prices.
Minimal or no competition.
No economic explanation for
cessation of competition.
Bidders submit identical prices so both can share in the project. Identical pricing not
experienced on previous projects. Bid prices significantly higher than pricing
offered in adjacent county.
Tape Segment: January 18, 1995 Cartel Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia – The Lysine Cartel Members Show Disdain For Customers And Antitrust Enforcement
Any agreement not to compete for specific:
Only two retailers of Lund fishing boats in state. Refusal to provide quote to
customers located in competitor’s allocated territory. Directed customers to
deal with competitor. No manufacturer limitation on where retailers could
Prior to agreement, A&B competed for work in both states. After agreement, each
limited quotes to customers in allocated territory.
Company either refused to quote or quoted high drop-box price. Company was
servicing customers in same area at lower prices.