NEW YORK – U.S. antitrust officials fined Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway $896,000 for failing to notify regulators ahead of a large securities acquisition in December 2013, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
Berkshire ran afoul of U.S. antitrust requirements when it failed to file papers announcing it would purchase securities in building products company USG that ended up taking its overall stake in USG to more than $950 million.
Federal law requires Berkshire to provide advanced notification to regulators of purchases that lift its holding in another entity to more than $283.6 million, the Justice Department said.
The rule is intended to give antitrust regulators an opportunity to determine whether to block deals that may flout antitrust laws.
Berkshire, a holding company with stakes in manufacturing and several other sectors, previously violated the notification requirement with a June 2013 purchase of shares in life insurer Symetra Financial that took its holdings to more than $310 million.
The Justice Department said Berkshire agreed to pay the $896,000 civil penalty to resolve the case. The settlement must be approved by a U.S. court.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014