Investigation into Compressor Market for Suspected Antitrust (Price Fixing) Violations

March 3, 2009, Bernstein Liebhard LLP (“Bernstein Liebhard”) announced that it is investigating a number of compressor companies, including Whirlpool Corporation, Tecumseh Products Company, Empresa Brasileira de Compressores S.A., and Danfoss A/S, for violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act (“Sherman Act”).  The investigation focuses on an alleged conspiracy by these major manufacturers of compressors to fix prices.

Compressors

The compressor is a major part of many home and commercial appliances.  It acts essentially as the engine of a cooling system.  When running, it compresses a low pressure gas, often called a refrigerant, into a high pressure gas.  Gas heats up as it is compressed and cools the air around it as it loses heat.  Compressors are a basic part of many cooling systems, such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and water fountains.

Compressors Antitrust Investigation

On February 18, 2009, multiple news sources reported investigations by the European Union, the Brazilian Ministry of Justice, and the United States Department of Justice for “possible anticompetitive practices in the compressor industry.”

Specifically, law enforcement officials conducted raids in South America and Europe and investigated the business practices of the following companies in the United States and abroad:

  • Whirlpool Corporation;
  • Empresa Brasileira de Compressores S.A. Embraco;
  • Danfoss A/S;
  • Danfoss North America Refrigeration & Air Conditioning;
  • Tecumseh Products Company; and
  • Tecumseh do Brasil Ltda.

Bernstein Liebhard Investigates Suspected Compressor Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Bernstein Liebhard LLP is investigating whether the above mentioned entities’ suspected collusive activities had a direct, substantial, and reasonably foreseeable effect on interstate and international commerce within the United States and have caused antitrust injury to compressor purchasers in the United States.  If the investigation reveals that Whirlpool, Tecumseh, Danfoss and/or the other companies conspired and colluded to raise prices, those companies would be liable under the Sherman Act for the losses sustained by consumers who directly purchased compressors at illegally inflated prices.

Compressor Direct Purchaser Victims

If you or someone you know directly purchased a Whirlpool, Embraco, Danfoss or Tecumseh compressor since 1997, please call Dana S. Smith, Esq. at (877) 779-1414 for a free and confidential case evaluation or contact info@bernlieb.com.