UK Supreme Court Dismisses Appeal to Halt Extradition to the U.S. in Connection with Alleged Cartel Participation

March 08, 2010

On February 24, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom dismissed the appeal of Ian Norris, former CEO of The Morgan Crucible Company plc, paving the way for the first-ever extradition to the United States of a defendant in an antitrust case. The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking Mr. Norris’s extradition in connection with its prosecution of a price-fixing agreement relating to certain carbon products. With more and more countries (including several in the last year alone) criminalizing antitrust violations, the DOJ is likely to be increasingly aggressive in seeking extradition of suspected cartel participants who reside outside the United States.

In November 2002, UK engineering firm Morgan Crucible and its U.S. subsidiary, Morganite Inc., pleaded guilty to fixing the prices of certain carbon products, including carbon brushes and current collectors used in electrical motors, in violation of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C § 1. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Morgan Crucible and Morganite agreed to pay a fine of $11 million for their participation in the carbon products cartel and for obstruction of justice. Four executives, including Ian Norris, were “carved out” of the plea agreement and remained subject to individual prosecution.

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