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NATION / WORLD: CONSUMER PRODUCTS

Gerber Didn't Fix Prices, Appeals Court Says

January 14, 1999|Bloomberg News

Gerber Products Co., the largest U.S. maker of baby food, didn't conspire with other manufacturers to fix prices, a federal appeals court in Philadelphia has ruled. The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court decision to throw out a class-action lawsuit filed by wholesalers and supermarket chains alleging executives of Gerber, Pittsburgh-based H.J. Heinz Co.'s baby food unit and other baby food makers exchanged information about price increases before making them public. Gerber, based in Fremont, Mich., is a unit of Swiss health-care company Novartis. While there was evidence of contacts between executives about prices, there wasn't enough proof of anti-competitive actions to make a price-fixing case, a three-judge panel concluded.

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