Int'l Price-Fixing Alleged In Steel

Courthouse News Service
Monday, September 15, 2008
By Robert Kahn

CHICAGO (CN) - Major steel companies at home and abroad, including U.S. Steel, fixed prices and production levels, according to a federal antitrust class action in Chicago. Standard Iron Works claims the nine defendants have fixed prices and allocated production since Jan. 1, 2005.

"Throughout the Class Period, and as detailed below, Defendants met with each other to discuss the need to impose industry production 'discipline' and to 'adjust their production rates so the price of steel doesn't drop,'" the complaint states." These and other calls to arms and pledges by and between Defendants were followed with action: massive, coordinated and unprecedented market downtime, i.e., idling and/or reducing production of steel products. By acting in concert pursuant to their conspiracy, Defendants removed substantial amounts of steel products from the market, which caused prices artificially to rise."

Standard Iron Works sued Arcelormittal, Arcelormittal USA, United States Steel Corp., Nucor Corp., Gerdau Ameristeel Corp., Steel Dynamics, AK Steel Holding Corp., SSAB Swedish Steel Corp., and Commercial Metals.

Plaintiffs' lead counsel Douglas Millen with Freed Kanner London & Millen of Bannockburn, Ill. Thirty-two law firms around the country signed on as co-counsel.

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