Cartel Digest

Magnetic Iron Oxides (MIO)

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Magnetic Iron Oxides (MIO)

Magnetic Iron Oxides (MIO)
  Overall Cartel Period 1995-1998
  Participants Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd.
  Total Fines (DOJ) $5 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed

In 2001 and 2003, the former president of Ishihara Kaisha Sangyo Magnetics, William L. Girvin, and the company’s parent company, Ishihara Kaisha Sangyo Ltd., pled guilty to U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) competition charges following an investigation into price-fixing in the magnetic iron oxides (“MIO”) industry.  Magnetic iron oxides are used as a coating for polyester film-based video tapes and give the tapes their magnetic quality to pick up sound and images.  ISK and Girvin engaged in price-fixing and customer allocation for the sale of video MIO particles in the United States and elsewhere from January 1995 until April 1998, a period when sales of MIO particles exceeded $200 million.


Enforcement Highlights

  • The DOJ imposed a $5 million fine on Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd.
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. 1/95-4/98 $5 million 01/30/2003 N/A  
Individual Company Prison Sentence Fine (USD) Plea Date Plea Agreement
William L. Girvin, President of Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Magnetics Ishihara Sangyo Kaisha Ltd. None No fines imposed 07/25/2001