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Bridgestone Corporation to plead guilty in marine hose bid-rigging case

The September 15 Wall Street Journal reports that Bridgestone Corporation will plead guilty of participating in conspiracies to rig bids, bribe Latin American government officials, and fix prices in the international rubber marine hose business. Bridgestone has agreed to pay $28 million in fines according to press releases from the company and the Justice Department. The department said that Bridgetstone was part of an antitrust cartel that fixed prices for hundreds of millions of dollars of marine hose, which is used for transferring oil from tankers to storage facilities. The company’s actions took place from 1999 to May 2007. Bridgestone is the fifth company to be charged in the department’s marine-hose investigation. The department said it agreed to recommend a “substantially reduced” fine for Bridgestone because the company cooperated extensively with investigators, restructured parts of its business and fired many of its third-party agents. Bridgestone emphasized its efforts to cooperate in a written statement and signaled that it would withdraw from the marine hose business.

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