Fish, Chocolate Included In Price-Fixing Crackdown Of $4.2 Billion Last Year

Ever heard of price-fixing chocolate? How about fish or rubber shoes? Those are just a few of the price-fixing schemes found by competition authorities in a record-breaking year of anti-trust abuse.

Fines for price-fixing, bid rigging and other antitrust abuses hit a record of $4.2 billion in 2013, reported Quartz.

Financial market scandals might get all the limelight, but there are some, unique, dodgy dealings afoot across the world.

For example — price-fixing chocolate in Canada is apparently a big problem, fish in Russia are under scrutiny for suspect activity and India’s rubber shoe industry has been hit with scandal.

And those are just a few of the markets where firms were tagged for colluding with their competition last year.

As for the U.S., well, there may be a reason it cost so much to replace your radiator hose: Last year, nine Japanese automotive companies, including Mitsubishi Electric Corp., pleaded guilty to a price-fixing conspiracy that targeted automakers such as General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co.

The Japanese companies agreed to pay $740 million in fines, while car companies operating in the U.S. faced inflated costs of more than $5 billion for parts, Bloomberg reported in September 2013.

Also last year, Apple was found to have conspired with some of the nation’s largest book publishers to fix prices in the e-book market. In October, Apple filed an appeal alleging the court excluded important testimony.

According to law firm Allen & Overy, 2014 looks to have more of the same in store when it comes to financial services. Investigations are on-going into suspicious activity involving a number of markets.

Cartels fix the prices for fish, shoes, chocolate and much more [Quartz]

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  1. furiousd says:

    What I want to know about in these situations, is whether or not the affected parties are ever given compensation (the corporation or the consumers who ended up overpaying) or whether the fines are just taken as income for whichever government entity happened to have jurisdiction.