Feds Fine Hitachi $3.8 Million Over Electronics Price-Fixing


SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — Hitachi, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, was fined $3.8 million on Tuesday for conspiring to fix the prices of capacitors, a common component in most electronic devices.
The United States slapped the Tokyo-based corporation with criminal charges in April, claiming it engaged in a global price-fixing conspiracy from 1997 through 2014.
The company pled guilty to the charges in June as part of a sealed agreement with federal prosecutors.
In a judgment issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge James Donato ordered Hitachi to pay the $3.8 million fine, plus a $400 assessment, within 15 days.
The judgment also requires Hitachi to develop and implement a corporate compliance program to ensure its executives and employees abide by federal antitrust laws.
The company must submit annual reports to the U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Division over the next five years to show it is complying with the court’s order.
Hitachi is one of several companies, along with Panasonic, Sanyo and NEC, facing an antitrust class action over the alleged capacitor price-fixing scheme.
In December 2015, Donato dumped non-California law claims from the capacitors class action.
The capacitor price-fixing scheme is not the first antitrust issue to land Hitachi in court.
In July 2015, the company paid $26 million to settle another class action claiming it colluded to fix the prices of optical disk drives.
And last week, the company settled yet another antitrust suit over cathode ray rubes, used in televisions and display screens, for $28 million.
Hitach is the world’s 178th largest corporation with an annual revenue of $84 billion, according to Forbes.
The company did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

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