Part 2 Consents
The Federal Trade Commission filed complaints against the three largest U.S. suppliers of ductile iron pipe fittings, which are used in municipal water systems around the United States. The FTC charged that the three companies, McWane, Inc., Star Pipe Products, Ltd., and Sigma Corporation, illegally conspired to set and maintain prices for pipe fittings, and that McWane illegally maintained its monopoly power in the market for U.S.-made pipe fittings. Sigma has settled the FTC's charges and has agreed not to engage in similar anticompetitive tactics in the future. The complaint against McWane and Star will be heard before an administrative law judge later this year (see Admin Complaint D9351/1010080). On 2/28/2012, the FTC approved a final order settling charges that Sigma Corporation engaged in illegal anticompetitive practices. Neither McWane nor Star agreed to settle the FTC's charges but the Commission removed its complaint against Star from the administrative process. On 3/20/2012, Star Pipe Products, Ltd. agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it conspired with the two other largest manufacturers to increase the prices at which pipe fittings were sold nationwide.