Times Staff and Wire Reports

2 Japanese Firms to Pay Price-Fixing Fines: Two Japanese paper companies have agreed to pay more than $3.5 million in fines for participating in a fax paper price-fixing conspiracy, the U.S. Justice Department said. Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. and New Oji Paper Co., both based in Tokyo, agreed to plead guilty to charges that resulted from the department's ongoing investigation of the $120-million-a-year thermal fax paper industry. The paper is used primarily by small businesses and home fax machine owners. The plea agreements must be approved by a federal judge. In court papers filed in federal court in Boston, Justice officials accused the firms of conspiring with others to raise thermal fax paper prices in the United States by 10% from July, 1991, to early 1992.

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