Nichicon to plead guilty in U.S. to price-fixing, pay $42 million fine

By Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Japan’s Nichicon Corp will plead guilty to fixing the prices of electrolytic capacitors sold in the United States and elsewhere, and will pay a $42 million fine, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The price-fixing conspiracy ran from September 1997 to 2014, and Nichicon participated from about 2001 to 2011, the Justice Department said in its complaint, filed in federal court in San Francisco. Electrolytic capacitors are used in a range of electronic products, including computers, televisions and car engines, to store and regulate electric current

Nichicon is the seventh company to be charged with price-fixing in the industry while 10 people have been charged, according to Marvin Price, director of the Antitrust Division’s criminal enforcement unit.

A spokesperson for Nichicon was not immediately available for comment.

Other companies that have pleaded guilty to fixing the prices of capacitors include Matsuo Electric, Hitachi Chemical and Elna Co Ltd.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Leslie Adler)