In February 2014, the Federal Trade Commission issued its Opinion against McWane, Inc., the industry leader in the U.S. market for small and medium diameter ductile iron pipe fittings (“fittings”). Such fittings join together pipes and help direct the flow of pressurized water in pipeline systems. They are purchased by municipal and regional water authorities and their contractors for waterworks projects and are distributed mainly through independent wholesalers. The original complaint alleged unlawful collusion, information exchange, and exclusionary conduct. In his Initial Decision the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) assigned to try the case found that the FTC Complaint Counsel had failed to establish liability on the claims of unlawful collusion and information exchange and the full
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