SEATTLE -- Health and nutrition programs in Washington could receive as much as $200,000 from an antitrust settlement with the manufacturer of a popular electric cooking grill, Attorney General Christine Gregoire said today.
The money is part of an $8.2 million national settlement reached between Salton, Inc., maker of the George Foreman Grill, and 44 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The settlement was filed today in U.S. District Court in New York.
After a two-year investigation, the states alleged that Salton illegally coerced retailers into fixing the price for Salton's George Foreman contact grills, and into excluding Salton's competitors from store shelves.
According to court documents, the states alleged that Salton refused to supply retailers with the popular grills if they stocked a competitor's product or sold competitors' products at a discount.
Under the settlement, which is subject to court approval, Salton will pay $8 million in damages and $200,000 in investigative expenses.
"Businesses want to be able to compete freely and give consumers the best possible prices," Gregoire said. "This action was intended to free businesses and consumers from illegal price fixing."
The process for establishing which charitable organizations receive the settlement money will be determined later.