For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: December 1, 2009

Idaho Joins in Second Vitamin Price-Fixing Settlement

(Boise) – A legal settlement with a group of vitamin manufacturers will result in refunds for Idaho businesses that were indirect purchasers of vitamins, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said today. Wasden joined with 21 other states in a $25 million settlement involving a vitamin price-fixing conspiracy. The settlement is on behalf of consumers and businesses that purchased certain vitamins between 1988 and 2000 and reside in Idaho or any of the settling states. Today’s settlement, which is subject to court approval, follows a $225 million settlement reached in 2000 involving different vitamin manufacturers.

“Many vitamin manufacturers agreed to fix the prices of vitamins they sold, which artificially raised the prices of vitamins and products containing vitamins,” Attorney General Wasden said.

The companies that sold these vitamins and are parties to the settlement are: Akzo Nobel, Inc.; Bioproducts Incorporated, Mitsui & Co., Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.), Inc.; Chinook Global Limited and Chinook Group, Inc.; Evonik Degussa GmbH, successor to Degussa AG and Evonik Degussa Corporation; Lonza AG; Merck KGaA, E. Merck and EM Industries, Inc.; Nepera, Inc.; Sumitomo Chemical America, Inc. and Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd.; Mitsubishi Tanabe Pharma Corporation and Tanabe U.S.A., Inc.; UCB Pharma, Inc.; and, Vertellus Specialties Inc. and Vertellus Chemicals SA.

The attorneys general in the participating states secured this settlement in conjunction with a lawsuit, Richardson, et al. v. Akzo Nobel, Inc. et al., pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Following court approval of the settlement, Idaho businesses that indirectly purchased certain vitamins between 1988 and 2000 may make a claim to obtain money.

Given the extraordinarily large number of individual consumers affected, attorneys general will distribute the settlement funds allocated to consumers in their respective states to government or not-for-profit organizations to address nutrition and health matters as approved by the court.

Click here for more information about the settlement.

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