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State Settles Antitrust Suit Over Pike's Acquisition Of Blue Rock
August 31, 2007
Attorney General Steve Rowe announced today that his office has resolved antitrust concerns stemming from the December 2005 purchase by Pike Industries, Inc. ("Pike") of Blue Rock Industries ("Blue Rock") of Westbrook, Maine. The Attorney General has filed a Complaint in Kennebec County Superior Court against Pike, along with a proposed settlement agreed to by Pike. The settlement, in the form of a Consent Judgment, must be approved by the court. While Pike has entered into the consent agreement for purposes of settlement, the company denies that the acquisition violated antitrust laws.
"This settlement ensures the continuation of a level playing field in the aggregate and hot mix asphalt industry." Rowe stated, "Aggregate and hot mix asphalt are essential components in the roads, driveways, and parking lots that Mainers use everyday. It is therefore vital that no one company develop a monopoly in such an important industry."
Attorney General Rowe's Complaint charges that Pike's December 2005 acquisition of the business assets of Blue Rock (Pike's largest competitor in Southern Maine) reduced competition and violated state antitrust laws. Both companies produce aggregates and manufacture and install hot mix asphalt used in the construction of roads and parking lots. Pike's purchase of Blue Rock leaves only a handful of competitors for State-funded paving projects in the southern Maine area.
The Consent Judgment would require Pike to do the following:
1. Sell stone mined from its Westbrook Quarry in sizes appropriate for use in Maine QA/QC* projects to any firm intending to use the stone to produce hot mix for use in Maine QA/QC projects for the next four years and at a price not to exceed the price it charged in 2006, adjusted annually by the price index set by the Bureau of Labor Statistics;
2. Enter into an agreement (subject to AG involvement) permitting any firm performing a State of Maine Department of Transportation QA/QC project to locate a portable hot mix plant into Pike's Westbrook Facility solely for the purpose of producing hot mix asphalt to install on any DOT QA/QC project, also for the next four years;
3. Provide written notice to the Attorney General at least sixty (60) days prior to acquiring an ownership or controling interst in aggregate resources or hot mix asphalt plants located in the State of Maine from firms engaged in the building and maintenance of roads; and
4. Pay $20,000 in costs to the Attorney General.
Pike has facilities across southern and central Maine, as well is in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
* Quality Assurance/Quality Control
Tina Moylan, Assistant Attorney General, (207) 626-8588
David Loughran, (207) 626-8577