US lumber firms charge price plot by Japanese

A group of California lumber companies filed an antitrust suit against 27 Japanese paper manufacturers and trading companies for allegedly conspiring to depress wood chip export prices in the United States.

The suit, filed in federal court here, said the defendants included three of Japan's largest trading companies - Mitsui, Mitsubishi, and Marubeni - plus the Japan Paper Manufacturers Association. The suit alleged the defendants conspired with one another to depress the wood chip prices and then boycotted the California Lumber Cooperative when it stopped delivering chips at illegally depressed prices.

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