Credit Card Companies Sued for Price Fixing
Bloomberg reports that Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. have been sued by a trade group representing operators of automated teller machines (ATM), who claim that the two companies fix prices and suppress competition among ATM networks. The plaintiffs are reportedly alleging “antitrust violations for restricting independent ATM operators from charging varying prices for customers using alternative networks such as STAR, Shazam Inc. or TransFund”. Due to a uniform agreement, “operators can’t charge less for transactions over a network that competes with Visa and MasterCard, according to the complaint”, reports Bloomberg.
Bloomberg: Visa, Mastercard Accused of Price Fixing by ATM Operators (13 October 2011)
Samsung and LG Electronics Companies Investigated for Price Fixing
The Korea Herald reports that electronics companies Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics are under investigations by the Korean Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) for fixing the prices of televisions and laptop computers. Reportedly, both companies were charged by the KFTC in October 2010 for fixing the prices of air-conditioning units and televisions.
The Korea Herald: Samsung, LG Electronics under investigation for price-fixing (13 October 2011)
(Source: The Korea Herald)
U.S. Govt Insider Trading Investigation Results in Significant Sentances
Zvi Goffer and Winifred Jiau were both sentenced separately last week for their crimes related to the vast government insider trading investigation. Goffer was sentenced to 10 years in prison, one of the longest insider trading sentences ever handed down in the U.S. According to the judge presiding over the case, the sentence “will be used to send a message to Wall Street.” Only hours after Goffer was sentenced, Jiau received a sentence of 4 years in the same courthouse. Both sentences could be a preview of Raj Rajaratnam’s sentencing scheduled for October 13th. Prosecutors in that case have recommended a sentence of 24 years in prison.
New York Times: 2 Defendants Sentenced in Insider Trading Case (21 September 2011)
(Source: New York Times)
Market Manipulation Orders Made
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has passed an interim ex-parte order restraining Pan Asia Advisors Limited, India Focus Cardinal Fund, MAVI Investment, KII Limited, Sophia Growth, European American Investment Bank Ag (FII), Basmati Securities Pvt Limited, Oudh Finance & Investment Private Limited, Alka India Limited, SV Enterprises and JMP Securities Pvt Limited for market manipulation.
SEBI’s media release (21 September 2011)
Insider Trading Proceedings Commenced
The Vanguard reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has filed an insider trading lawsuit in relation to the the recent purchase of underwater oil services company Global Industries Limited (Global Industries) by energy engineering company, Technip SA (Technip). The SEC reportedly allege that unnamed defendants purchased over 685, 840 shares in Global Industries two days before Technip announced that it would buy the shares at a 55% premium. The defendants reportedly sold their shares at an US$1.73 million profit, using information which the SEC allege was obtained “as a result of breaches of fiduciary duty” by the companies.
The Vanguard: SEC alleges insider trading in Global Industries (21 September 2011)
(Source: The Vanguard)