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Justice lets corrugated converters team up

In a ruling that should give independent producers of corrugated packaging more competitive clout, the Antitrust Div. of the Justice Department has approved the formation of joint selling entities (JSE) among independents to serve customers seeking a single source of corrugated.

The Assn. of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) sought antitrust approval for such arrangements for nine months and submitted a model JSE, which Justice ultimately approved. A JSE would enable independents to more quickly and cheaply supply corrugated packaging to national companies with multiple plants seeking a single source. AICC spokesperson Bruce Hermit said the association membership includes more than 400 corrugated box makers in the U.S. and Canada in different markets that do not compete, making them eligible to form JSEs. The industry rule of thumb now is that 20% of the corrugated market is converted by independents, with the remainder converted by large integrated companies and others.

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