A lawsuit has been filed and is seeking class action status against three of the nation's largest ice producers for allegedly violating anticompetitive laws. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Minneapolis and claims Reddy Ice Holdings Inc., Arctic Glacier International Inc., and Home City Ice Co. violated federal antitrust laws by fixing prices for packaged cubed, crushed, block, and dry ice in the US and Canada. The lawsuit seeks to represent any person or business who bought ice from the named defendants from 2002 to 2008.
The lawsuit claims the companies secretly committed to anticompetitive practices to fix, raise, or stabilize packaged ice prices in the $1.8 billion industry. It alleges the companies agreed not to compete head-to-head in any of the markets claimed by one of the companies, eliminating competitive pricing for the benefit of customers.
The suit claims the companies divided up the packaged ice market so they would not compete with each other. The lawsuit claims Reddy Ice sells its products in the sunbelt states from Florida to Arizona and in the northwestern US; Arctic Glacier works in the central and northeastern states and California; and Home City dominates markets in the Midwest states of Illinois, Ohio and Indiana.