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FTC Fines Capital One CEO Richard Fairbank For Repeatedly Violating Antitrust Laws

 |  September 3, 2021

Today, the Federal Trade Commission announced that Richard Fairbank, CEO of Capital One Financial Corp., will pay a $637,950 civil penalty to settle charges that his acquisition of Capital One Financial stock violated the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act. Fairbank’s recent multi-million dollar compensation package included over 100,000 Capital One Financial shares in 2018, which increased his holdings to $168 million. The complaint alleges that Fairbank failed to report his sizable stock windfall to federal antitrust authorities and illegally finalized the acquisition before the agencies could investigate. While Fairbank is a repeat filing offender with wrongdoing spanning two decades, today’s FTC order is the first time he has been penalized.

“As the CEO of one of America’s largest banks, Richard Fairbank repeatedly broke the law,” said Holly Vedova, Acting Director of the Bureau of Competition. “There is no exemption for Wall Street bankers and powerful CEOs when it comes to complying with our country’s antitrust laws.”

The HSR Act requires companies and individuals to report large transactions over a certain threshold to the FTC and DOJ so that the federal agencies can investigate the deals before they close. The agencies have 30 days after a transaction has been reported to conduct an initial investigation and file a “second request” demand for additional information. It is generally illegal to finalize an acquisition during this investigatory period. The maximum civil penalty for an HSR violation is currently $43,792 per day.

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