FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, APRIL 15, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FILES SUIT TO STOP SGL CARBON
FROM ACQUIRING CARBIDE/GRAPHITE GROUP’S
GRAPHITE ELECTRODE ASSETS
Deal Would Result in Higher Prices for Large Graphite Electrodes
WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Department of Justice today filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to
block SGL Carbon AG and its United States subsidiary, SGL Carbon L.L.C., from acquiring
certain assets of Carbide/Graphite Group in a bankruptcy court auction. The Department said
that the acquisition would facilitate coordination among the three remaining producers of large
graphite electrodes for sale in the United States, and would substantially reduce competition in
the production of large graphite electrodes.
SGL Carbon and Carbide/Graphite are two of the only four producers capable of
manufacturing quality 18O diameter and larger graphite electrodes for sale in the United States.
Graphite electrodes are a critical input into electric arc furnace steel production, in which scrap
metal is melted and refined into steel.
According to the complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Pittsburgh, the potential for
coordination among competitors following the acquisition is enhanced because of the recent
history of collusion among graphite electrode producers. With the assistance of the office of the
United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, the Department filed the
complaint so as to ensure it could seek to enjoin closing of the acquisition by SGL in the event it
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prevailed in the auction process. The Department worked closely in its investigation with
antitrust enforcers in the office of the Pennsylvania Attorney General.
“Unless this transaction is blocked, the result will be increased prices for large graphite
electrodes,” said R. Hewitt Pate, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the
Department’s Antitrust Division. “This market is one in which competitors have a history of
colluding rather than competing. Th