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US: Ready Mix companies file collusion suit

 |  August 23, 2017

Two 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 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 non-conspiring 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, 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 closed 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.

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