Volume 51, Issue 1 - January 2016


Three Steel Companies Hold Their Ground in Price-Fixing Lawsuit

The fight continues in an ongoing antitrust lawsuit involving major players in the steel industry.

While five of the eight defendants have settled and their distribution funds have been approved, three others continue to fight back against a discovery process they consider a “fishing expedition.”

In 2008, Pennsylvania-based Standard Iron Works and four other companies filed a lawsuit saying U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal conspired with six other domestic steel manufacturers “to manipulate the supply and price of steel products sold in the United States,” according to court documents. The plaintiffs claim that the eight steelmakers “conspired to restrict their output, thereby increasing the prices they were able to charge for steel products” during a nearly two year period.

Last year, five of the companies listed as defendants settled. Each denied any wrongdoing but claimed to have settled in order to avoid the cost of further litigation and trial. The three remaining companies are Nucor, Steel Dynamics Inc. (SDI) and SSAB Swedish Steel.

These companies assert that the plaintiffs are now demanding documents and information from parties well below the “top executive” level and are steering beyond the scope of the case. On November 19, Judge James B. Zagel denied the plaintiffs’ motion to get documents from top-level mill managers. SDI had already provided that information, and Nucor and SSAB both filed oppositions—which were compelling enough for the ruling.

The defendants have held their ground denying any wrongdoing.

SDI continues to fight off requests for documents from parties it deems unnecessary.

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