Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed a federal antitrust action against liquid aluminum sulfate producers General Chemical Corporation and its successor and affiliated companies, GEO Specialty Chemicals, Inc. and C&S Chemicals, Inc. and its affiliated company. These companies allegedly conspired to restrain trade, rig bids and reduce competition in Florida for liquid aluminum sulfate, a water treatment chemical. Municipalities and other governmental entities use liquid aluminum sulfate to purify both drinking water and wastewater. Pulp and paper manufacturers also use liquid aluminum sulfate in their manufacturing processes.
“A chemical used to purify drinking water and wastewater is essential for maintaining the health and welfare of Floridians, and efforts to rig the market for this chemical has forced our government entities to pay too much,” said Attorney General Bondi. “The action filed today seeks to protect the interests of Florida municipalities, counties and other state entities and hold these companies accountable.”
In the complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the Florida Attorney General’s Office alleges that, from 1997 through at least February 2012, the chemical producers conspired with each other to allocate certain customer accounts in Florida in order to charge higher prices for liquid aluminum sulfate.
Attorney General Bondi’s Office also alleges that the producers’ actions violated the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Florida Antitrust Act and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. The complaint seeks treble damages and civil penalties for the producers’ conduct.
To view the complaint, click here.