Robbins Geller Defeats Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan’s Motion to Dismiss Claims in Aluminum Antitrust Action
On March 26, 2015, Judge Katherine Forrest, a federal district judge in Manhattan, denied in large part defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaint against defendants Goldman Sachs & Co., JPMorgan Securities plc, Metro International Trade Services LLC, and others. The complaint alleges defendants violated the antitrust laws by conspiring to inflate their profits through a series of agreements between their metals warehousing businesses and their commodities trading arms, effectively controlling the price for aluminum for their own financial gain. In denying the motion to dismiss, the court said plaintiffs have “sharpened their story . . . such that they have now stated a plausible claim under §1 of the Sherman Act.”
The case was brought in the wake of public outcry at the increasing price of aluminum, which industry participants alleged cost aluminum purchasers billions of dollars every year. After a bipartisan Senate investigation into the industry, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said “Wall Street’s massive involvement in physical commodities puts our economy, our manufacturers and the integrity of our markets at risk.” Plaintiffs are purchasers of aluminum who paid inflated prices for aluminum as a result of defendants’ conduct.
“The court’s ruling moves this action to the next phase during which we will continue to aggressively prosecute the class’ claims against the defendants,” said David Mitchell, a partner from co-lead counsel Robbins Geller. A copy of the order can be viewed here.