U.S. Steel Agrees to Settlement in Price Fixing Lawsuit

U.S. Steel Corporation has agreed to pay $58 million in order to settle a 2008 lawsuit that accused the company of conspiring with others in a steel price fixing scheme.  The Pittsburgh based steelmaker continues to deny “any and all wrongdoing” and says it only agreed to settle in order to avoid the cost and risk of further litigation and trial.  The settlement was filed today in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois

The lawsuit alleges that U.S. Steel and other major steelmakers deliberately cut back on production between 2005 and 2007 to raise prices.  U.S. Steel is specifically accused of running its mills at 90 percent capacity at the beginning of 2005 before cutting back to 75 percent later that same year.

Luxembourg based ArcelorMittal SA recently agreed to pay a $90 million settlement in this case, the highest amount among those companies to have settled at this time. AK Steel Corporation, Gerdau Ameristeel Corporation, and Commercial Metals Corporation have also all previously settled for a collective total of $15.9 million. Nucor, Steel Dynamics, SSAB Swedish Steel Corporation were also named as defendants and have yet to settle.

The amounts of the settlements were determined by the size of the companies and how much steel they shipped.  U.S. Steel controlled 16 percent of the market during the mid-2000s, while AcerlorMittal controlled over 25 percent.

The case is In Re: Steel Antitrust Litigation, Standard Iron Works et al v. ArcelorMittal et al., case number 1:08-cv-5214, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

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