On April 27, 2009, Bock Kwon, a high level executive at LG Display Co. Ltd. (“LG”) pled guilty, agreed to serve one year in prison in the United States and pay a criminal fine of $30,000 for his role in a conspiracy to suppress and eliminate competition in the Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD) industry by fixing prices of TFT-LCD panels.
On April 22, 2009, the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced its leadership team. The new team includes the Chief of Staff, four Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, a Special Counsel for Competition Policy. Two Deputy Assistant Attorney Generals will oversee civil matters, one Deputy Assistant Attorney General will oversee economic analysis and one Deputy Assistant Attorney General will oversee international, policy and appellate issues.
On April 8, 2009, Stephen E. McAnulty, a former owner of an asbestos monitoring contractor that provided services to New York Presbyterian Hospital (“NYPH”), pled guilty to making false statements to agents and representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division.
On April 2, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) required BASF, a world leading chemical company based in Germany, to divest assets related to two high performance pigments of Ciba Holding Inc (“Ciba”) in order for BASF’s proposed $5.1 billion acquisition of Ciba to proceed after the statutory public comment period of 30 days. It issued a consent order that would significantly reduce remedy the anticompetitive impact of the proposed transaction in the bismuth vanadate and indanthrone blue (two high-performance pigments) markets.
On April 2, 2009, Durwanda Elizabeth Morgan Heinrich, a dirt, sand, and gravel subcontractor, and Kern Carver Bernard Wilson, a former contract employee of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were convicted on charges of conspiring to commit bribery. Additionally, Heinrich was found guilty of two counts of offering a bribe to a public official and Wilson was found guilty of one count of demanding and agreeing to accept a bribe as a public official.
On April 1, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) announced that Acting Director of the Bureau of Competition, David P. Wales would step down in May. Mr. Wales joined the FTC as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition in April 2006 and took on his current role in August 2008. He has led the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in bringing more than 20 enforcement actions. Wales directed several litigated enforcement efforts that blocked proposed mergers in CCS/Newpark Environmental Services, Oldcastle/Pavestone, and CCC/Mitchell.