A Federal grand jury handed down an indictment naming as

A Federal grand jury handed down an indictment naming as a defendant Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. (NPI), a Japanese manufacturer of facsimile paper. The indictment alleged that five years earlier NPI and certain unnamed coconspirators held a number of meetings in Japan, which culminated in an agreement to fix the price of thermal fax paper throughout North America. NPI and other manufacturers who were involved in the scheme purportedly accomplished their objective by selling the paper in Japan to unaffiliated trading houses on the condition that the latter charge specified (inflated) prices for the paper when they resold it in North America. The trading houses then shipped and sold the paper to their subsidiaries in the United States, who in turn sold it to U.S. consumers at inflated prices. The indictment further states that, to ensure the success of the venture, NPI monitored the paper trail and confirmed that the prices charged to end users were those that it had arranged. The indictment maintains that these activities had a substantial adverse effect on commerce in the United States and unreasonably restrained trade in violation of the Sherman Act. Does the Sherman Act apply to this conduct? Explain.


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