Inverstigation and a pending class action lawsuit against William Prym GmbH & Co., KG; Prym Consumer USA, Inc.; Prym Fashion, Inc.; YKK Corporation; YKK Corporation of America, Inc.; YKK (U.S.A.), Inc.; YKK Snap Fasteners America, Inc.; Coats plc; Coats North America de Republica Dominicana, Inc.; and/or Scovill Fasteners, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants").
The class action lawsuit is brought on behalf of a class of individuals and entities who, from January 1, 1999 to the present (the "Class Period"), purchased fasteners and zippers directly one of the Defendants.
Fasteners and zippers are snaps, hooks and eyes, rivets, eyelets and similar fastening devices (excluding needles) that affix two or more objects together. The Defendants are manufacturers of fasteners and zippers that are primarily used in the garment, apparel and footwear industries. The market for fasteners and zippers is estimated at over $600 million in the United States alone. According to the complaint, the Defendants have engaged in a long-running, worldwide cartel and conspiracy to fix the prices of, and allocate customers and geographic territories for, fasteners and zippers. The complaint claims that the Defendants agreed with each other on coordinated price increases, fixed minimum prices, allocation of customers, sharing of markets and exchanging other commercially important and confidential information. On September 19, 2007, the European Commission ("EC") announced the results of a nearly six year long investigation into suspected anticompetitive conduct among the major manufacturers of fasteners and zippers. According to the complaint, the investigation by the EC uncovered a long running, multifaceted international conspiracy by the Defendants to fix prices and allocate customers and markets worldwide in the fasteners and zippers industry. As a result of its investigation, the EC imposed fines totaling approximately $456 million on several of the Defendants. According to the complaint, certain members of the board of management of the Prym Defendants admitted to their participation in the conspiracy.
Name (Stock Symbol)
William Prym GmbH & Co. KG
William Prym GmbH & Co. KG, known as the Prym Group, provides consumer products.
Prym Consumer USA, Inc.
Prym Consumer USA manufactures and distributes sewing, quilting, and craft-related products.
Coats plc manufactures and sells sewing thread and needlecraft products.
Scovill Fasteners, Inc.
Scovill Fasteners, Inc. manufactures fasteners for industrial and apparel use.
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