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Zinc Antitrust Litigation

CASE CAPTION         In re Zinc Antitrust Litigation 
COURT United States District Court for the Southern District of New York 
CASE NUMBER 14-cv-3728-PAE
JUDGE Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer
PLAINTIFFS Oklahoma Steel and Wire Co., Inc.; Iowa Steel and Wire Co.; Southwestern Wire, Inc.; and Jasper Materials, Inc.
DEFENDANTS Glencore Ltd. and Access World LLC (f/k/a Pacorini Metals USA, LLC) 
CLASS PERIOD September 14, 2010 through February 11, 2016

In In re Zinc Antitrust Litigation, Plaintiffs alleged that after Glencore—one of the worlds’ largest multinational trading houses—acquired Access World, they engaged in a scheme to monopolize the market for Special High-Grade Zinc and artificially raised the price of physical zinc and related zinc premiums in the United States. Plaintiffs further alleged that Glencore and Access World engaged in anticompetitive conduct to carry out the monopolization scheme, including: (i) manipulating rules set by the London Metal Exchange—the global hub of metals trading, on which 85% of global exchange traded metals futures, including 90% of zinc, is traded, (ii) shuttling Zinc between warehouses for no reason other than to cause and exacerbate anticompetitive effects; (iii) making incentive arrangements to hoard zinc in warehouses in relatively inconvenient locations; (iv) engaging in shadow warehousing and strategically delisting warehouses to manipulate perceived supply; and (v) falsifying shipping records for zinc that never actually left warehouses. As a result, Plaintiffs paid artificially inflated price premiums. 

Kessler Topaz’s lawsuit was consolidated with others, and on July 24, 2014, and Kessler Topaz was appointed as interim co-lead counsel on behalf of a class of direct purchasers of zinc. After successfully overcoming Defendants’ motion to dismiss in January 2016, Plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint in February 2016. Defendants then filed a motion for judgment on the pleadings. During this time, the parties were also engaged in substantial discovery. Based on information learned from documents produced by Defendants during discovery, plaintiffs sought leave to file a third amended complaint, which was filed in January 2020. The parties engaged in settlement negotiations over the course of several months, agreeing to resolve the case for a $9,850,000 to be distributed to direct purchasers of zinc. On February 16, 2022, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer approved the settlement agreement, providing an excellent recovery for Plaintiffs and the class they were appointed to represent.