NEW YORK Nucor
Corp. did not violate antitrust laws by bidding on assets of a
bankrupt competitor 11 years ago, a U.S. appeals court has
Reorganization Group Inc. (GSRG), a then-newly formed company
that wanted to enter the hot-rolled market by purchasing assets
of bankrupt Gulf States Steel Corp., could not prove that Nucor
was acting to be a monopoly player, the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the 11th Circuit said this week.
litigation dates back to 2002, when GSRG sued Charlotte,
N.C.-based Nucor shortly after Gadsden Industrial Park LLC, a
corporation formed by Nucor and Casey Equipment Corp., won the
assets of Gulf States Steel, according to court documents (
amm.com, June 15, 2007). GSRG alleged that Nucor
sold the assets overseas so it wouldnt have competition
in the southeastern United States.
The appeals court had
ruled in 2006 that GSRG sufficiently alleged injury and
reversed the dismissal of its complaint by the U.S. District
Court for Alabama. On remand, GSRG abandoned claims that Nucor
was being a monopolist, according to appeals court documents.
During discovery, Nucor requested and was granted summary
judgment, which GSRG appealed.
relevant product marketblack hot-rolled coil
steeldid not account for the fact that manufacturers of
pickled and oiled steel could, without much difficulty or cost,
switch their production to that of black hot-rolled coil
steel," the appeals court ruling said. "Therefore, the district
court reasoned, GSRG did not define a proper product
The appeals court
noted that if Nucor reduced supply in the hot-rolled coil
market as a means to inflate prices, manufacturers of pickled
and oil products could easily forgo the extra process to
capitalize on the higher prices, which means Nucor could not
obtain monopoly power in the Southeast.
A spokeswoman for
Nucor, as well as representatives of Casey Equipment and GSRG,
could not be reached for comment.