Authorities launched new criminal probes, obtained guilty pleas from companies and executives and imposed hefty fines as aggressive enforcement continued.
Several significant developments occurred in cartel enforcement in 2016. New record fines were imposed by enforcement authorities in the European Union and the United Kingdom. EU and India fines exceeded $1 billion. Fines of more than $100 million were imposed in the European Union, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Spain, Ukraine, and the United States.
Several investigations produced their first criminal guilty pleas in 2016. In December, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) brought its first charges in the generic drugs investigation as two executives agreed to plead guilty. In the seafood packaging investigation, the first charges were also filed by the DOJ in December against two senior vice presidents who both agreed to plead guilty. Based on public statements by the DOJ, both of these investigations are expected to grow over the coming months.