West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice joined Attorney General Patrick Morrisey to announce that the state and six local governments reached a $101.35 million settlement with 11 asphalt and paving companies – the largest single-state antitrust settlement in West Virginia’s history.
The settlement resolves allegations that West Virginia Paving Inc., Kelly Paving Inc., American Asphalt & Aggregate Inc., Camden Materials, Oldcastle Inc., Oldcastle Materials Inc., Southern West Virginia Paving Inc., Southern West Virginia Asphalt Inc., American Asphalt of West Virginia LLC and Blacktop Industries & Equipment Co. conspired to monopolize the state-approved asphalt and paving market, thus reducing competition and maximizing profits at the taxpayers’ expense.
The agreement includes $101.35 million in cash and credits, along with a mix of non-monetary terms to restore competition.
“This is a historic day for West Virginia, and all West Virginians should be really, really proud,” Gov. Justice said. “This settlement not only means another $100 million that we’ll be able to invest in continuing to repair and maintain our roads all across West Virginia, but it also means that you, the taxpayers, are getting what you paid for. We have made incredible progress over the last few years with my Roads To Prosperity program and Secondary Roads Maintenance Initiative, and this money will allow our great Department of Transportation to do even more. I want to thank everyone who played a part in helping to reach this settlement.”
“This achievement means many more roads will be paved,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “I will not tolerate monopolization on my watch.
“Our settlement will go a long way to restore competition and recoup road funds to the benefit of every taxpayer who pays for and drives West Virginia’s roads. We can never afford to allow an unlawful monopoly to victimize West Virginia and maximize its profits on the backs of state taxpayers, especially when every dollar is needed to pave our roads and compete effectively with other states for business and tourism,” Morrisey continued.
“The West Virginia Division of Highways is responsible for roughly 36,000 miles of roadway. Every dollar we can get will help us continue to repair and pave all of our hills and hollers,” said West Virginia Department of Transportation Secretary Byrd White.
The Attorney General filed the lawsuit in January 2017 with the State’s Department of Transportation, alleging acquisitions or non-compete agreements were used to unlawfully eliminate competitors and push asphalt prices higher in areas controlled by West Virginia Paving, its parent company CRH plc, and other defendants as compared to parts of the state with robust competition.