Goldman Sachs and the London Metal Exchange were named in a class action lawsuit against warehouse owners for alleged "anti-competitive and monopolistic behavior in the warehousing market in connection with aluminum prices."
The suit, filed by the aluminum buyer Superior Extrusion Inc., comes following a New York Times report on purposeful delays in the storage time for aluminum in Goldman-owned warehouses. The Times found that the practice inflates the price of aluminum products like soda cans, and winds up costing consumers around $5 billion a year.
Superior Extrusion filed its suit on Aug. 1 in U.S. District Court in Detroit. The suit also targets "John Does": any other warehouse owner that may have participated in the alleged price-fixing conspiracy.
The suit said that warehouse owners realized "extraordinary revenues from inefficiencies and deadweight restraints on the economy," reflecting their "extreme monopoly pricing power and abusive agreements in very unreasonable restraint of trade."
Since the Times article, the Senate has held hearings on the alleged price inflation and the Department of Justice reportedly indicated that it is investigating complaints about the practice.