Ready Mix Companies File Antitrust Lawsuit in Atlanta Federal Court
Atlanta, GA (Law Firm Newswire) August 23, 2017 – Two Savannah, Georgia-based ready mix concrete companies filed an antitrust lawsuit Monday, July 24 alleging collusion among cement companies and other ready mix companies in coastal Georgia and southeast coastal South Carolina. Plaintiffs Mayson Concrete, Inc. and Southeast Ready Mix, represented by Bona Law PC, filed a complaint in the Northern District of Georgia alleging two separate but related conspiracies, one in each market.
The complaint alleges that the cement companies have, since 2012, conspired to fix prices by agreeing to periodic coordinated price increases, while the ready mix companies have, since 2009, conspired to allocate customers, rig bids, engage in group boycotts of nonconspiring competitors like the plaintiffs, all as part of a scheme to ultimately fix the prices of ready mix concrete.
Argos North America and Argos Ready Mix, both subsidiaries of Cementos Argos S.A., a Colombia-based international supplier of cement and ready mix concrete, participated in both cartels as the ringleader. The cement defendants also include Cemex and Holcim (US), both international suppliers of cement. The ready mix defendants include Thomas Concrete, Coastal Concrete, Elite Concrete, and Evans Concrete, all of whom are ready mix suppliers in Georgia and South Carolina.
Mayson Concrete shuttered its business in 2012, after the ready mix cartel successfully ran it out of business through a predatory pricing scheme designed to undercut its prices to all its customers, with the ultimate goal of recouping those losses through overcharges after vanquishing competition. Southeast Ready Mix remains in business, but has suffered significant losses as a target of the ready mix cartel.
The complaint seeks relief under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and several claims under Georgia state law, including treble damages, attorneys’ fees, and injunctive relief.
The plaintiffs are represented by Jarod Bona and Aaron Gott of Bona Law PC, a boutique antitrust litigation firm in La Jolla, California, with Richard Robbins from the Robbins Firm in Atlanta serving as local counsel. Bona Law PC represents plaintiffs and defendants in competitor antitrust litigation and defendants in multidistrict class action antitrust litigation in federal courts throughout the United States.
“This case is about restoring competition to the cement and ready mix markets in coastal Georgia and South Carolina,” said Aaron Gott. “In a competitive market, companies like Mayson and Southeast thrive because they offer the lowest possible prices, and end consumers ultimately benefit. And that’s the way it’s supposed to work—the antitrust laws are designed to protect free competition.”
The case is pending before Judge Eleanor Ross of the Northern District of Georgia in Atlanta. By agreement of the parties, the defendants will respond to the complaint by October 2.
You can read more about this case on Bona Law’s website, and at the firm’s blog, The Antitrust Attorney Blog.
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