Japan Hits Industrial Gas Cos. With $174M Cartel Fine

Law360, New York (June 2, 2011, 2:31 PM EDT) -- Japan's antitrust watchdog fined four industrial gas producers 14.1 billion yen ($174 million) last week for allegedly agreeing to hike their prices for oxygen, nitrogen and other so-called air separation gasses.

The Japan Fair Trade Commission issued cease-and-desist orders along with the fines against Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corp., Air Liquide Japan Ltd., Air Water Inc. and Iwatani Corp. on May 26 for restricting competition in their industry.

Taiyo Nippon received the largest penalty of 5.1 billion yen, followed by Air Liquide at 4.8 billion yen and...
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