Cargill and Morton Salt schemed over the past decade to keep road salt prices artificially high, forcing Ohioans to pay up to $50 million above market prices, according to an antitrust lawsuit filed Wednesday by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The two salt-mining companies divided the Ohio market, secretly agreeing not to compete for each other's accounts, and submitting sham bids designed to conceal their conspiracy and to exclude other competitors from obtaining state business, the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit, filed in Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court, seeks an order ending the companies' contracts with the state, as well as repayment of their "ill-gotten gains" of up to $50 million paid to the Ohio Department of Transportation and other agencies.
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(photo:Dale Omori, Plain Dealer file)