LME wins dismissal in aluminum antitrust suit

Aug 26, 2014 | 05:54 PM | Andrea Hotter

Tags  London Metal Exchange, LME, lawsuit, antitrust, dismisssal, sovereign immunity, Katherine B. Forrest, aluminum warehouses

NEW YORK — A judge has dismissed the London Metal Exchange as a defendant in a U.S. antitrust lawsuit alleging manipulation of aluminum supplies to drive up prices on the grounds of sovereign immunity.

Judge Katherine B. Forrest of the U.S. District Court in New York said in an order that the LME is an organ of a foreign state and was not engaging in commercial activity when it allegedly manipulated the load-out rules for aluminum.

"The court grants the LME’s motion to dismiss based on sovereign immunity," the ruling stated, citing the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. "The court itself initially found this result somewhat surprising and counterintuitive. Nevertheless, it is dictated by the prevailing case law."

Forrest ruled that the plaintiffs cannot replead their case against the LME. The ruling does not affect other defendants, which include Baar, Switzerland-based Glencore Plc, New York-based Goldman Sachs Group Inc., New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. and their respective warehouse subsidiaries, as well as Hong Kong Exchanges & Clearing Ltd. (HKEx), the owner of the LME. ....

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