On October 30, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) required Verizon Communications Corp. (“Verizon”) to divest assets in 100 locations in 22 States for its acquisition of Alltel Corp. (“Alltel”) to proceed. The divestitures cover the States of Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Virginia.
EL PASO BUSINESSMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO ROLE IN CONSPIRACY TO RIG BIDS AND ALLOCATE CUSTOMERS FOR THE DOOR AND HARDWARE CONTRACTS
On October 28, 2008, Humberto “Beto” Lopez, vice president of El Paso Steel Doors and Frames Inc., pled guilty to conspiring to rig bids and allocate customers for certain contracts for sales of doors and other hardware for various construction projects in the El Paso area. Mr. Lopez has also agreed to cooperate in the ongoing investigation.
On October 23, 2008, American Composite Timbers (“ACT”), a plastic marine pilings supplier located in Commack, NY, pled guilty and agreed to pay a criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a project to repair New York’s Pier 86 where the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is located.
On October 21, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) decided not to challenge a joint licensing agreement by RFID Consortium LLC (“RFID”) for patents to comply with ultra high frequency radio frequency identification (“UHF RFID”) technology, which has a variety of uses including airline baggage tracking, retail product inventory and ticketing for events. RFID is a group of companies that hold at least one essential UHF RFID patent. According to the DOJ, the proposal could result in cost savings and greater access to the technology, ultimately benefitting competition and consumers.
On October 20, 2008, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to prevent JBS’s proposed acquisition of National Beef Packing Company LLC (“National”). JBS is the world’s largest beef packer and the third largest in the United States with annual sales in the United States exceeding $6 billion. National is the fourth largest beef packer in the United States with annual beef sales of about $5 billion.
SHIPPING EXECUTIVES CHARGED WITH CONSPIRACY TO ELIMINATE COMPETITION AND RAISE PRICES FOR MOVEMENT OF GOODS BETWEEN THE U.S. AND PUERTO RICO
On October 1, 2008, four U.S. shipping company executives including Peter Baci of Jacksonville, FL, Kevin Gill and Gregory Glova of Charlotte, NC, and Gabriel Serra of San Juan, Puerto Rico pled guilty for their role in a broad conspiracy to rig bids, fix prices, and allocate market share for customers transporting goods between the United States and Puerto Rico. A fifth shipping executive, Alexander Chisholm, of Jacksonville, FL was charged with obstruction of justice. He agreed to plead guilty and serve jail time.