Concrete Industry Price-Fixing Lawsuit Unveiled

The Great Concrete Conspiracy: How Big Business is Bilking Consumers

Imagine you're a small business owner, working hard to build a reputation for quality and affordability in your community. You pride yourself on using only the best materials, sourced from reputable suppliers, to ensure that your customers receive the best possible products and services. But what if you discovered that the very foundations of your business were built on a lie? That the materials you've been using, the concrete admixtures and cement additives that give your products their strength and durability, have been subject to a secret price-fixing scheme that's been going on for years?

Welcome to the world of Lakewood Concrete Corp., a company that's recently filed a class action lawsuit against some of the biggest names in the concrete industry. The allegation? That these companies have been colluding to artificially inflate the prices of their products, costing unsuspecting consumers millions of dollars in the process. In this article, we'll take a closer look at the case, the companies involved, and what it means for consumers like you.

The Companies in Question:

The defendants in this case read like a who's who of the concrete industry. Sika AG, Sika Corporation, Chryso, Inc., GCP Applied Technologies, Inc., Compagnie De Saint-Gobain S.A., Saint-Gobain North America, Master Builders Solutions Admixtures U.S., LLC, Master Builders Solutions Deutschland GmbH, Cinven Ltd., Cinven, Inc., The Euclid Chemical Company, RPM International Inc., and several unnamed defendants (Does 1-10) are all named in the lawsuit. These companies are some of the biggest players in the concrete admixtures and cement additives market, with a massive global footprint and billions of dollars in annual revenue.

The Allegations

According to the lawsuit, these companies have been engaged in an illegal agreement to fix the prices of their products, causing indirect purchasers like Lakewood Concrete Corp. to pay inflated prices for CCAs sold in the United States and its territories during the specified period. In other words, these companies have been working together to artificially inflate the prices of their products, knowing that the end consumer would ultimately foot the bill.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants engaged in a complex web of agreements, meetings, and communications to coordinate their pricing strategies and ensure that they all maintained artificially high prices for their products. This included exchanging sensitive pricing information, agreeing on price increases, and enforcing price discipline among their respective sales teams.

The Impact on Consumers

So, what does this mean for consumers? In short, it means that you've likely been paying more for concrete products than you should have been. Whether you're a contractor, a construction company, or a homeowner, the cost of concrete admixtures and cement additives has been artificially inflated, costing you money that could have been better spent elsewhere.

But the impact goes beyond just the financial cost. The use of price-fixed CCAs can lead to lower quality products, as companies are incentivized to cut corners to maintain their artificially high profit margins. This can result in weaker, less durable concrete products that can compromise the safety and integrity of buildings, bridges, and other structures.

The Legal Argument

The lawsuit filed by Lakewood Concrete Corp. alleges violations of the Sherman Act, a federal antitrust law that prohibits agreements that restrain trade or commerce. By engaging in a price-fixing scheme, the defendants have allegedly violated this law, causing harm to both direct and indirect purchasers of their products.

The lawsuit seeks damages for the harm caused by the defendants' actions, as well as injunctive relief to prevent further price-fixing and anticompetitive behavior. The case is filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and demands a jury trial.

What You Can Do:

If you're a consumer who has purchased concrete products, such as concrete admixtures or cement additives, in the United States or its territories during the specified period, you may be eligible to join the class action lawsuit. Even if you're not sure if you've been affected, it's important to take action and protect your rights.

Here are some steps you can take:

1. Contact a lawyer: Reach out to a qualified antitrust lawyer who can help you understand your rights and options. They can help you determine if you're eligible to join the class action lawsuit and guide you through the process.

2. Gather evidence: Keep any receipts, invoices, or other documentation related to your purchases of concrete products. This evidence can help support your claim and prove the harm you've suffered.

3. Stay informed: Keep an eye on the case as it progresses. Check for updates on the court's website or sign up for news alerts to stay informed about any developments.

4. Spread the word: Share this information with others who may have been affected by the price-fixing scheme. The more people who join the class action, the stronger the case will be.

Stand up if you've been affected

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Conclusion

The great concrete conspiracy, as we'll call it, is a stark reminder of the dangers of corporate greed and the importance of antitrust laws. When companies put profits over people, it's the consumers who ultimately suffer. By standing up against these practices and fighting for our rights, we can send a message to big business that we won't be taken advantage of.

If you've been affected by the concrete price-fixing scheme, don't hesitate to take action. Contact a lawyer, gather your evidence, and join the class action lawsuit. Together, we can hold these companies accountable and ensure that justice is served.

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