New antitrust suits target banks, LME

Nov 25, 2013 | 05:13 PM | Michael Cowden

Tags  London Metal Exchange, LME, warehouse rules, Midwest premium, antitrust lawsuit, Goldman Sachs, Metro International, JPMorgan Henry Bath

CHICAGO — At least six antitrust lawsuits have been filed over the past month—and at least five in the past week—by aluminum users against big banks and the London Metal Exchange.

The lawsuits—all class action complaints demanding jury trials—allege that the exchange, scores of unnamed "John Doe's," and banks and trading companies that own aluminum warehousing facilities have conspired to constrain aluminum supplies, create artificially wide contangos and drive Midwest aluminum premiums higher.

The aluminum buyers, in allegations similar to cases filed since last summer (, Aug. 2), said such practices amount to price-fixing and violate U.S. antitrust laws. They demand reimbursement for alleged damages and compensation for attorney fees.

Companies named as defendants in the lawsuits either declined to comment or said they would defend the allegations.....

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