Change in Justice’s naming practice in some cases

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is changing its practice of publicly naming some business executives who haven’t been charged criminally in price-fixing and bid-rigging cases that harm consumers.

Business long has contended that the practice is unfair.

For more than a decade, corporate plea agreements have publicly identified four categories of employees. One is those believed to have engaged in wrongdoing. The second is those who refuse to cooperate. The third is those the government is developing evidence against. And the fourth is those with potentially relevant information who can’t be located.

Under the new policy, names of those believed to have engaged in wrongdoing will be filed in court only under seal. Those in the other categories won’t be named at all.

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