Seattle - June 25, 1997 - Attorney General Christine Gregoire today announced Washington state will receive nearly $264,000 as part of a $3.9 million multi-state settlement with a national agricultural chemical manufacturer for allegedly fixing the resale prices of its chemicals.
Zeneca, Inc., of Wilmington, Delaware, which denied violating any laws, allegedly required its distributors to sell products at or above a certain price in order to receive cash rebates. The pricing practice, in place from the late 1980's through 1993, was used in conjunction with the company's Stewardship Bonus Program (SBP).
"Every business has the right to be able to compete freely on the basis of price and service," said Attorney General Christine Gregoire, "These distributors were given little choice about what resale prices to charge and that violates both state and federal antitrust laws."
Zeneca will pay the $ 3.9 million plus attorney fees and costs to 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In addition, the consent decree, filed today in federal court in Northern Texas, prohibits Zeneca from operating any similar programs in the future.
In January, a similar multi-state settlement was reached with American Cyanamid Company of Parsippany, New Jersey.
Washington was one of the states leading the investigation of Zeneca.