CHICAGO (July 23, 2007) — Following a five-day trial, a federal court jury in Hartford, Connecticut acquitted McDermott Will & Emery client Stora Enso North America Corporation of charges that it conspired to fix prices in violation of Sherman Act 1.
In December 2006, U.S. antitrust authorities announced Stora Enso had been indicted for conspiring with one or more competitors to fix the prices of coated magazine paper in the United States from August 2002 through June 2003. U.S. antitrust authorities claimed Stora Enso was attempting to drive up the price of paper used to print magazines, newsweeklies and high-volume catalogs.
At trial, the Government argued that Stora Enso agreed with one of its largest competitors to follow and implement price increases initiated by other competitors. The case focused specifically on price increases in August 2002, November 2002 and February 2003, in addition to a few communications and meetings between Stora Enso and another paper producer during the same time period. Stora Enso could have faced a maximum fine of $10 million if it had been found guilty.
"Corporations charged with criminal pricing fixing rarely go to trial - much less win," noted David Rosenbloom, McDermott Will & Emery partner representing Stora Enso. "Juries tend to relate more to individuals rather than corporations, so winning an acquittal for a corporation is a rare success. We are pleased the jury was able to see the truth of our client's innocence in the evidence presented."
This criminal trial, United States v. Stora Enso North America Corp., was the culmination of a three-year investigation by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, which had given amnesty under the Antitrust Division's Corporate Leniency Policy to the alleged co-conspirator.
The McDermott team representing Stora Enso at trial was led by Chicago partners David Marx and Mr. Rosenbloom, assisted by Amy Carletti, Holly Tahvonen and Nicole Castle.
Stora Enso is an integrated paper, packaging and forest products company, producing publication and fine paper, packaging board and wood products. For more information visit www.storaenso.com.