Global: Antitrust fines headed for record year

According to legal experts, antitrust fines across the globe are on path to shatter records as competition regulators increase enforcement.

According to Allen & Overy LLP, antitrust regulators, especially in the US and EU, are gearing up to impose more fines than ever before, though many of the cases expected to net top penalties are ongoing. The US Department of Justice, for example, has issued $709 million worth of fines in the first half of the 2014 fiscal year –a number three times more than what it levied in the same period the year prior.

Similarly, A&O reported, the European Commission has issued $1.92 billion worth of fines so far, compared with $1.9 billion issued for the entire fiscal year of 2013.

Those numbers are only expected to rise. “Historically the authorities tend to post their biggest numbers at the end of the year,” Allen & Overy partner and head of cartel practice John Terzaken told reporters.

According to the firm’s report, LIBOR and other market manipulation cases have attributed to some of the rise in antitrust fines, but bid-rigging and price-fixing cases across Asia, South America and Australia have also proven to lead to significant sanctions imposed on companies and their executives.

The US DOJ is in the midst of its largest antitrust case to date in its investigation of auto parts price-fixing by various Japanese companies, collusion said to have manipulated the US auto market.

Full content: Bloomberg

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