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Sector
Basic Materials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £99.32bn
Enterprise Value £103.19bn
Revenue £31.65bn
Position in Universe 13th / 1826

US judge dismisses aluminum antitrust claims

Wed 17th February, 2021 8:48pm
By Jonathan Stempel
    NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday
narrowed a long-running antitrust case where aluminum purchasers
accused Goldman Sachs   GS.N , JPMorgan Chase  JPM.N  and the
mining company Glencore  GLEN.L  of conspiring to drive up the
metal's price by reducing supply.
    U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer said many purchasers
lacked standing to sue because they had bought aluminum
primarily from smelters such as Alcoa  AA.N  and Rio Tinto Alcan
 RIO.L  rather than directly from the defendants, and thus did
not qualify as "efficient enforcers" of antitrust laws.
    In a 66-page decision, the Manhattan judge also said pricing
decisions by the smelters appeared to be a big factor in the
prices ultimately charged, and that those prices were "not the
inevitable result of defendants' alleged conspiracy."
    The purchasers had accused banks and commodity trading,
mining and metals warehousing companies of conspiring to
hoard aluminum when prices were low roughly a decade ago.
    They said this resulted in delays in processing orders and
higher storage costs, raising the cost of making cabinets,
flashlights, soda cans and other goods containing aluminum.
    Engelmayer dismissed all claims by several individual
purchasers including Eastman Kodak  KODK.N  and Fujifilm
 4901.T , as well as claims by some "first level" purchasers
whose motion for class certification he had denied last July.
    The judge said Reynolds Consumer Products  REYN.O  and two
other plaintiffs that transacted directly with the defendants
could still pursue their cases.
    Lawyers for the various plaintiffs did not immediately
respond to requests for comment. Goldman spokeswoman Maeve
DuVally, JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony and Glencore
spokesman Charles Watenphul declined to comment.
    The litigation began in 2013. Another judge had dismissed
various antitrust claims in 2016, but was overturned by the
federal appeals court in Manhattan in 2019.
    The main case is In re Aluminum Warehousing Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York,
No. 13-md-02481.

 (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York)
 ((jon.stempel@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 6317; Reuters
Messaging: jon.stempel.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))
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