US Court Dismisses Aluminum Antitrust Cases

By Dow Jones Business News, 
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LONDON--A U.S. court has dismissed antitrust cases brought against traders in the aluminum market saying there was no deliberate conspiracy to push up prices.

The class-action lawsuits alleged that several banks and trading houses, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. ( GS ), J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. ( JPM ) and Glencore Xstrata PLC (GLEN.LN), along with the London Metal Exchange, sought to restrain output and thereby raise aluminum prices.

But Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that although actions taken by traders and warehouses had a "clear" impact on prices, "this was an unintended consequence of rational profit-maximizing behavior rather than the product of conspiratorial design."

The cases had claimed that the accused had allegedly slowed the movement of aluminum out of LME-approved warehouses, pushing up overall costs in two ways: by limiting the overall supply of aluminum and by increasing storage costs, according to the lawsuits.

Last week, the court had already dismissed the London Metal Exchange as a defendant, saying it had U.K. sovereign immunity.

Write to Matthew Cowley at matthew.cowley@wsj.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires


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This article appears in: Commodities

Referenced Stocks: 8GC , GLNCY , GS , JPM

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