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Antitrust Ice Conspiracy Alleged

MINNESOTA (CN) - Reddy Ice Holdings conspires with other ice-makers to fix prices and apportion monopolistic sales areas for the $1.8 billion packaged ice business, according to an antitrust class action in Federal Court.

The three lead defendants reports ice sales of more than $750 million in 2007, the complaint states. Reddy Ice, the nation's biggest icemaker, reported sales of $339 million; Arctic Glacier, of Canada, the second-largest ice company, reported $249 million in sales. Home City Ice Co., of Cincinnati, is privately held. According to the complaint, it is about three-fourths the size of Arctic Glacier.

The complaint claims that as early as Jan. 1, 2002 the conspirators fixed prices, allocated markets and otherwise restrained and interfered with commerce.

Canada is a major exporter of ice to the United States, claims lead plaintiff Ridge Plaza, a "convenience and beverage store."

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