“The Informant” was a 2009 movie (based on a book by Kurt Eichenwald) starring Matt Damon as Mark Whitacre—a bumbling executive cooperating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to expose a price-fixing scheme at his company. The opening keynote panel at SuperConference 2012 gave attendees an inside look at the true story behind the movie, and one of the most important criminal antitrust cases in history. Panelists were some of the people closest to the Whitacre saga, from the FBI agent who handled the case (pictured at left), to Whitacre’s former defense attorney.
The story begins with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a Fortune 50 food processing company. Whitacre was president of the bio-products division, and cooperated with the FBI to reveal the deal ADM had with its competitors to fix the price of lysine, an amino acid used in animal feed.