In a federal court Thursday, a manufacturer of fertilizer for farmers and cooperatives filed a class action lawsuit against seven fertilizer companies representing 70% of the world's potash market. Minn-Chem and other members of the class suit are seeking unspecified damages and a court injunction preventing the potash suppliers from continuing the alleged price-fixing conspiracy, according to a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. The paper reports that "Minn-Chem argues that the potash industry is 'marked by a high degree of cooperation' among several large companies, which have overlapping ownership interests and cooperate through reciprocal visits to their production facilities."
Included in the lawsuit is Mosaic of Plymouth, Minn., Agrium of Calgary, Alberta; Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.; JSC Uralkali of Moscow; RUE PA Belaruskali, of Soligorsk, Belarus; RUE PA Belarusian Potash Co. of Minsk, Belarus; JSC Silvinit of Solikamsk, Russia and JSC International Potash Co. of Moscow.
In 1993 Canadian and U.S. potash producers were similarly accused in a number of class-action lawsuits. The lawsuits were later dismissed.