Antitrust Law Daily Ohio water treatment chemicals manufacturer pleads guilty to conspiracy
Friday, June 17, 2016

Ohio water treatment chemicals manufacturer pleads guilty to conspiracy

By Jody Coultas, J.D.

The DOJ announced today that GEO Specialty Chemicals Inc. admitted to conspiring to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate customers involving contracts for liquid aluminum sulfate to municipalities and pulp and paper manufacturers in the United States (U.S. v. GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc., Case No: 2:16-CR-290 (JLL) 01). GEO has agreed to pay a fine of $5 million.

GEO is the first corporate defendant, and fourth defendant overall, to be charged with participation in this decade-and-a-half-long conspiracy. One individual previously pleaded guilty and two others have been indicted in connection with the conspiracy.

From 1997 until 2011, GEO and its co-conspirators met to discuss each other’s liquid aluminum sulfate business, submitted intentionally losing bids to favor the intended winner of the business, withdrew inadvertently winning bids, and discussed prices to be quoted or bid to municipalities and pulp and paper manufacturers.

The investigation into price fixing, bid rigging, and customer allocation in the liquid aluminum sulfate industry is being conducted by the New York Office of the Antitrust Division and the FBI’s New Jersey Office.

Attorneys: Patricia L. Jannaco, Mary Anne Carmual, and Frank Cavanaugh for U.S. Deparatment of Justice. James H. Mutchnik and Norman A. Bloch (Cormac Connor & Matthew Beck) for GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc.

Companies: GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc.

MainStory: TopStory Antitrust

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