International Paper, 8 Others Sued for Price Fixing
The companies created a product shortage leading to higher prices, according to a complaint filed yesterday in federal court in Chicago by Kleen Products LLC. The closely held floor- care company asked for class-action status for the case, to include containerboard buyers from the companies over the past five years.
Norampac Industries Inc., Cascades Inc. (CAS), Domtar Corp. (UFS), Weyerhaeuser Co. (WY), Georgia Pacific LLC., Temple-Inland Inc., and Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. were also sued. The defendants supply 83 percent of the containerboard market, according to Kleen Products.
Price increases from August 2005 until now outpaced cost increases by more than 50 percent, and the companies were “nearly simultaneous” in raising prices, according to the complaint.
“Our company holds itself to the highest standards of ethical conduct and business practices,” the company said in an e-mailed statement. “We take seriously any allegations to the contrary and will vigorously defend ourselves in this litigation.”
Representatives of the other defendant companies didn’t immediately return calls for comment on the suit or declined to comment immediately.
The case is Kleen Products LLC v. Packaging Corp. of America, 1:10-CV-05711, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois (Chicago).
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