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DOJ obtains guilty pleas in case alleging submission of false information during merger investigation

21 May 2012

Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation Alert

On 15 August 2011, the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Korean ATM manufacturer Nautilus Hyosung Holdings (NH) agreed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice and pay a fine of US$200,000 for its affiliate’s alleged submission of false documents to the antitrust agencies in a Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) form filed in connection with its proposed acquisition of a rival ATM manufacturer. The alleged wrongful conduct also involved the altering of documents submitted pursuant to a voluntary request for information. According to the DOJ’s press release, an executive at an affiliate of NH “altered and directed other corporate employees to alter existing corporate documents with the intent to impair their integrity and availability for use in an official proceeding.” The DOJ alleged that the “alterations misrepresented and minimized the competitive impact of the proposed acquisition on the market for ATMs in the United States.” On 3 May 2012, the DOJ announced that an executive at NH had agreed to plead guilty to obstruction charges, and to come to the U.S. to serve five months in prison.

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