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Q: Antitrust Grand Jury Investigations ( Answered,   1 Comment )
Subject: Antitrust Grand Jury Investigations
Category: Business and Money
Asked by: reedrick-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 01 Oct 2003 19:32 PDT
Expires: 31 Oct 2003 18:32 PST
Question ID: 262055
I have been told that there are over 80 currently pending Grand Jury
investigations over antitrust violations such as price fixing or
monopolization. The Department of Justice Antitrust Divsion's policy
is limited on what it discloses and when. See
Also see

But somewhere and somehow this information is leaked or published.

I am not interested in indictments, convictions or cases filed. Rather
I'm interested in knowing what investigations are pending where a
grand jury has been convened, what industry and practice they involve,
and where I go for this information or can find it on a regular basis
as they happen.

These investigations my be public as a result of cooperating with the
FTC or State Attorney Generals.

Clarification of Question by reedrick-ga on 02 Oct 2003 17:44 PDT
The goal is to identify what is pending at the grand jury stage. I
assume, beyond headlines you are not aware of other methods of finding
this information (e.g. AG websites or a publication which follows this
gossip). That would be my prefernce. If you can please go off in this
direction. Your suggested proposal, alone, however, would be
satisfactory to me for this post.

Time more than 1 year.
Subject: Re: Antitrust Grand Jury Investigations
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 03 Oct 2003 09:30 PDT
Hello again, and thanks for your intriguing question.

I know you were hoping for a source of information that is independent
of the press, and I’ve included some possibilities below.  But let me
say right up front that it’s awfully hard to beat the reporters at
their own game.

First of all, there’s only one of you, and there’s thousands of
business reporters out there.

Secondly supposes someone with inside knowledge -- an assistant DA, a
corporation counsel, the clerk in the copy room -- decides they have
an antitrust story to tell.  Who are they more likely to leak it
to...You?  An internet chat room?  Or a reporter at the Wall Street

Your best bet is to stay right on top of the news as it materializes,
and fortunately, there are some powerful tools for doing this.  But
like I said, there are some non-press sources that are also worth your
attention. and I’ve included these in my discussion, below.

If anything here is in need of further elaboration -- or if you would
simply like additional information  -- just let me know by posting a
Request for Clarification, and I’ll be happy to assist you further.


Search strategy: Search on Google, Google News, and Lexis-Nexis for: 
antitrust and (subpoena OR “grand jury” OR investigation OR probe)


First off, just to be clear, grand jury investigations are very often
well-kept secrets.  This explanation from the state of Florida’s
Attorney General’s office is fairly typical:,grand,jury

Advisory Legal Opinion

Grand jury proceedings are secret and a grand juror is under
direction to not disclose the nature or substance of the
deliberations or vote of the grand Attorney General Opinion
(1990) this office determined that grand jury subpoenas are an
integral part of the grand jury proceeding to secure witnesses
and, therefore, fall within the "absolute privilege" of the grand
jury.  Thus, it was concluded that grand jury subpoenas are not
subject to disclosure...


Bottom line, then, is that the existence of an antitrust investigation
that has reached the grand jury stage will become public knowledge
when the Attorney General is good and ready to make it public
knowledge OR when one of the parties being investigated reveals the


There is actually a place where all the AG’s get together and discuss
their antitrust activities, and that is at NAAG (is that a great name
for a group of AG’s, or what...?).  NAAG, of course, is the National
Association of Attorneys General, and one of their key issue areas is

Of most interest at this site is the work of the Multistate Antitrust
Task Force, which can be found at:

As you can see, there are several lists here -- seemingly quite up to
date -- pertaining to ongoing antitrust investigations.

One of these lists (qualified as “Limited to those that are Public”)
identifies specific companies under investigation:


(List Limited to those that are Public)

Of course, the list alone does not indicate the status of the
investigation (pre-grand jury, grand jury, charges files, etc), but
it’s a useful site to check for new postings of investigations that
the AG’s, in their wisdom, have chosen to make public.

Other working groups listed on the page might also be of interest to
you, as they identify broad areas that are under investigation (e.g.,
vitamins, CDs) and could offer a bit of a heads up as to which
companies might one day find themselves on the receiving end of a
subpoena or two.


Another non-press source of information is the SEC’s EDGAR database. 
All publicly-traded companies in the US file numerous reports to the
SEC that are posted to the EDGAR database.  Very often, when a company
receives a subpoena, they will file an 8K report of unexpected
“material events”.  The report is described by the SEC this way:


Form 8-K

This is the "current report" that is used to report the occurrence of
any material events or corporate changes which are of importance to
investors or security holders and previously have not been reported by
the registrant. It provides more current information on certain
specified events than would Forms 10-Q or 10-K.


Although 8K forms can be accessed through the SEC site itself, there
are actually more powerful search tools available elsewhere that can
identify the latest filings of companies that have received antitrust
subpoenas, or have otherwise reported the existence of an antitrust
investigation.  My favorite search site is the 10K Wizard at

Although this is a subscription service, you can use its SEC search
function free of charge.  You’ll find the Search page at:

I searched on:

(antitrust OR "price fixing" OR "monopoly) NEAR(25) ("grand jury" OR

which looks for the terms “antitrust”, “price fixing” or “monopoly”
within 25 words of either “grand jury” or “subpoena”.  Of course, you
can delete, add, or change the terms or the “NEAR” distance as you see

I also set the search as follows:

--In the box marked “Form Group” I selected “8K related” from the
pull-down menu.

--For the dates, I specified from October 3, 2002 to October 3, 2003,
since you had requested a one-year time frame -- of course, a broader
or more narrow set of dates can be chosen at your discretion.

The search returned results for five companies:


The Company has received a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust
Division of the Department of Justice...


06/23/2003 the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. We
intend to cooperate fully with the subpoena and the investigation...


...the Attorney General of the State of New York. The subpoena seeks
information regarding the Company's compliance with certain state and
federal antitrust and consumer protection statutes...



The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco served a grand jury
subpoena on Duke Energy in November 2002...


On June 17, 2002, we received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District...


As you can see, there are no spurious hits here.  The search string
does a good job of finding 8K reports from companies that are
reporting a subpoena for an antitrust investigation.  However, the
search results from the 10K Wizard only return a snippet of
information from the actual filing.  To get the full details, you
would have to access the full 8K report in one of two ways:

--At the site, where you can see it free of charge, or

--at the 10K Wizard site, by taking out a subscription.  

You may want to consider making use of the 10K Wizard subscription
service, especially given your desire to be among the first to know
about a given investigation.  The site offers a “My Alerts” service,
that will send you an email notification anytime a new report gets
files that meets your search criteria.  This can be a valuable way of
getting a heads-up on breaking news of new investigations.

If you prefer the no-charge option, then head over to the SEC’s search
function at:
and enter the name of the company you are interested in into the
search box.  For instance, a search on Titan Corp returns a long list
of this companies filings, including, of course, their July 9, 2003 8K
form, which can be seen here:

and which tells us:

“The Company has received a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust
Division of the Department of Justice requesting the production of
documents relating to information technology services performed for
the Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts.  The Company
has been informed that other companies who have performed such
services have received subpoenas as well.  We have been cooperating
and will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation.”


Clearly, though, there are more than five such investigations taking
place in the past year.  Where else to turn to for information?

For recent news, your best bet is none other than Google News at:

where they offer pretty comprehensive coverage of news items for the
past few weeks.

For instance, a search on [ antitrust (subpoena OR “price fixing” OR
monopoly OR investigation) ] turns up 600+ results.  By clicking on
the “Sort by date” link (upper right hand corner of the page), the
list is sorted by the most recent news first, and includes the
following interesting-looking items:

Oracle may face antitrust suit
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 3 hours ago

PetroKazakhstan must repay US$6.3M
National Post, Canada - 4 hours ago

Illinois governor seeks probe into company efforts to block ..., Canada - 14 hours ago

EU Commission questions Premier League deal with BSkyB over TV
CNN/SI - Oct 1, 2003

Yukon Fuel sale eyed due to antitrust rumors
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, AK - Sep 30, 2003

...and so on.  

The brief excerpts the Google News provides don’t always fully
describe the story, but complete details are just a click away.  For
instance, if you want to just what the Governor of Illinois is
probing, a click on the link:

takes you to the full story, which begins:


Illinois governor seeks probe into company efforts to block Canadian

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich is calling for a state
investigation into whether drugmakers are illegally blocking access to
cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.

The governor asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office to look into
whether the companies have committed antitrust violations by limiting
supplies to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers.


Google News also offers a very excellent “alert” service, similar to
that offered by the 10K Wizard....except there is no charge for the
Google service.  Just go to the “News Alerts” site at:


and enter the search string you want Google News to keep tabs on.  In
the “How Often” box, select “As it happens” from the pull down menu,
and then supply your email address.

That’s it.  Every time a new news item appears that matches your
search criteria, you’ll get a quick email alerting you to the story. 
with breaking stories.  I strongly recommend you take advantage of
this service.


Another news service to be aware of is, interestingly, at a site

where they list the latest news stories dealing with all aspects of
antitrust.  Seems worth checking, though I didn’t find anything here
not already revealed at other sources.

Note, too, that they have a “Discussion” forum, where people involved
in antitrust issues can trade information and ideas.  Again, nothing
turned up relevant to your specific query, but it seems worthwhile
being aware of this as a potential source of information.


Lastly, there is the gold standard of news search services,
Lexis-Nexis.  Although many people shy away from this service due to
the perceived costs involved, you can actually do a lot of searching
at no cost.  If particular results are of interest, they can then be
purchased for a relatively modest fee.  It’s very much worth becoming
familiar with their (somewhat cumbersome) sign-up procedures and
research protocol.

For instance, I conducted a Nexis search on:  

grand jury and (antitrust w/10 subpoena) and not microsoft

to find stories from the past year that contain the phrase “grand
jury” and include “antitrust” within ten words of “subpoena” and that
do not include any reference to microsoft.

The search -- which can be conducted at no charge -- returned a list
of 65 articles with brief cites for each, including:


Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2003 Friday, Home Edition, Page 2,
187 words, California; NEC Units Subpoenaed in U.S. Antitrust Probe

AFX European Focus, August 19, 2003 Tuesday, GOVERNMENT, 168 words,
UPM-Kymmene recieves subpoena related to US labelstock market

The Dallas Morning News, June 25, 2003, Wednesday, SECOND EDITION,
BUSINESS;, Pg. 2D, 338 words, U.S. opens second ACS inquiry; Shares of
Dallas-based computer services firm lose almost 3 percent

American Metal Market, May 15, 2003, Pg. 1 ; ISSN: 0002-9998, 517
words, Antitrust probe targeting copper concentrate mart; alleged
price-fixing, trans-Atlantic investigation

Chemical Week, March 26, 2003, BUSINESS & FINANCE NEWS; United
States/Americas; Pg. 8, 349 words, Ferro, Baerlocher Targeted in Heat
Stabilizers Price-Fixing Probe


Due to copyright constraints, I cannot fully reproduce all the search
results here, but I trust you get the idea.  There is a goodly amount
of interesting and pertinent material here available at no cost.  And
if you want to access the full article for any particular result, you
can do so at a charge of $3.00 per article.

I recommend opening a Lexis-Nexis account of some sort in order to
take full advantage of their service. The sign up process begins here:

At the bottom right hand side of the page, you will see an option for:

Not a Subscriber
Search Now Using Your
Credit Card 

Clicking this will lead you to a “Pay As You Go” or “Pay By Day Or
Week” sign up options.  Choose the one that works best for you
(unless, of course, you prefer to sign up for one of their longer-term
options) and begin by entering the requested information.  Again,
there is no charge for conducting a search or for reviewing the search are only charged for retrieving the full text of any

If you need any assistance conducting a search of the Nexis news
sources (and it can be a confusing process) just let me know, and I’ll
be glad to walk you through the process.


I hope this information fully meets your needs.  However, as I said
earlier, if anything is unclear, or you would like additional
information, just let me know.  I’m at your service.
Good luck in your efforts. 

Subject: Re: Antitrust Grand Jury Investigations
From: pafalafa-ga on 02 Oct 2003 04:54 PDT
Interesting question. 
It's a relatively straightforward matter to pull out information that
has a high probablility of being what you're looking for.  For
instance, a pretty quick perusal of just the past four months (since
June '03) of information on antitrust-related investigations uncovered
the following:
--Rite Aid secretary tells of backdating stock-award documents, 
--Four accused of obstructing price-fixing probe in Phila 
--NEC Units Subpoenaed in U.S. Antitrust Probe 
--Credit Lyonnais may risk US grand jury indictment over Executive
--UPM-Kymmene recieves subpoena related to US labelstock market
--Lancer Corp.eyed in Coke probe 
--Burger King subpoenaed in Coca Cola probe for marketing test
--Price Fixing On The Fashion Catwalk? 
--Though Air Force inquiry is resolved, the rocket business remains
subject of a U.S. criminal investigation
--U.S. opens second ACS inquiry; Shares of Dallas-based computer
services firm lose almost 3 percent
--Ex-DuCoa chief to fight choline chloride price-fixing charges 
--Suits allege price fixing in additives 
From the headlines alone, it's hard to know, for each case, what stage
an investigation has actually progressed to.  It is necessary to dig a
bit further into each one in order to confirm that they have not
advanced beyond the grand jury stage.  However, this sort of digging
is easy and quick to do.  For instance, the NEC story (dated Septembr
12, 2003) opens this way:
NEC Corp., Japan's biggest maker of personal computers, said Thursday
that two of its U.S. units received subpoenas as part of a Justice
Department antitrust investigation of memory chip companies.
The units, Elpida Memory and NEC Electronics America, got grand jury
subpoenas from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California on June 19, 2002, and May 30, 2003, respectively,
Tokyo-based NEC said in a regulatory filing.
Both units are based in Santa Clara, Calif.  
Micron Technology Inc., Samsung Electronics Co. and Infineon
Technologies, which together control 60% of memory chip sales, last
year said they received requests from U.S. antitrust officials looking
at whether companies manipulated prices.
However, accessing the information (beyond the simple headlines) can
only sometimes be done for free; other times there is a charge for
accessing the information.  For this reason, I cannot, myself, look
into all the cases of the last few months (or years) to completely
sort out which investigations fully meet your criteria...the costs to
me would approach the price of the question, I'm afraid.
So, with that as background, I'd like to ask your thoughts on the best
way to proceed.
--I would be glad to identify similar headlines as those above for
whatever timeframe best suits your needs (the past month, year, two
--I can also provide instructions about how to get more detailed
information on any of the items listed (but as I said, only some of
these will be available at no cost, while for others, there will be a
small charge)
--Perhaps most importantly, I can also detail the search methods I
used to identify these investigations, so that you could routinely,
and easily update the list on your own.
Let me know if this approach would be suitable as an answer to your
And if not, please elaborate in a bit more detail what, exactly, you
would like to see, so that we can target our research accordingly.

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