U.S. Steel Latest Manufacturer to Settle in Price-Fixing Lawsuit

U.S. Steel is the latest company to settle in an ongoing lawsuit stemming from alleged price-fixing in the past by several steelmakers, as the Pittsburgh-based manufacturer has agreed to pay $58 million to remove itself as a defendant.

In 2008, Pennsylvania-based Standard Iron Works and four other companies filed a lawsuit alleging U. S. Steel conspired with seven other domestic steel manufacturers “to manipulate the supply and price of steel products sold in the United States,” according to court documents. The plaintiffs alleged that, from April 1, 2005 to December 31, 2007, the eight steelmakers “conspired to restrict their output, thereby increasing the prices they were able to charge for steel products.”

U.S. Steel, which is the fifth steelmaker to settle, denies any wrongdoing.

“U. S. Steel denies the allegations against it, denies that it engaged in a conspiracy or did anything wrong, and has asserted a number of defenses,” U.S. Steel’s lawyer wrote in a notice, “but it has nevertheless agreed to settle to avoid the cost and risk of continued litigation and trial.”

ArcelorMittal, the largest of the involved manufacturers, agreed to a $90 million settlement last month, and three other steelmakers— AK Steel Corp., Gerdau Ameristeel Corp. and Commercial Metals Co.—combined to settle for $15.9 million in May.

Nucor, Steel Dynamics and SSAB Swedish Steel have yet to settle.

The settlement amounts, which now total $163.9 million, have been made in accordance with the size of the companies and their output during the span of the alleged price-fixing. According to court documents, U.S. Steel accounted for approximately 16 percent of the total domestic raw steel capacity during that time, while ArcelorMittal controlled approximately 20 to 25 percent.

A hearing for final approval of both the U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal settlements will be held in mid-October. The settlement hearing for the other three manufacturers took place July 10.

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