Filing Deadline: November 15, 2021
Period: 1/26/2017 -- 10/15/2018
When one thinks of an industry in which a small cartel holds
both its consumers and its competitors in its grip, naturally one thinks of the
interior molded door skin market.
Oh, wait, you don’t think that? You don’t know even what a
door skin is? Don’t you use at least one door every day?
Well, that’s OK. If you are familiar with the ins and outs
(pun intended) of door skins, you may skip ahead. Door skins
are the outer layer of interior molded doors found in most homes in America.
Doors tend not to be made of solid wood anymore—
“But mine are!”
--yes, and you are also wearing a corduroy sport coat with a
turtleneck and reading this on a Commodore 64, which is also uncommon. We are
speaking about most people’s doors made these days, not in the 19th century. Doors today are mostly hollow with a mere skin to mimic the finely
crafted molded doors of yore.
Thanks to recent consolidation and mergers in the American
door industry, two companies, JELD-WEN and Masonite, comprise 85% of the
interior molded door market and 100% of the door skin market. The
plaintiff’s class action complaint, dated February 19, 2020, noted that, “Because the manufacturers comprising the other 15% of the interior molded
doors market did not independently manufacture door skins, domestically, they
were left with no choice but to purchase door skins from either Jeld-Wen or
This market, according to the plaintiffs, used to be
competitive, but in October of 2012 JELD-WEN acquired another door manufacturer
called CraftMaster Manufacturing, Inc. (CMI), and that is when the collusion
allegedly began. “In late 2012,” Plaintiffs wrote in the complaint, “shortly
after Jeld-Wen acquired CMI, Jeld-Wen and Masonite began imposing uniform price
increases on interior molded doors. At least nine different times between 2012
and 2018, Jeld-Wen and Masonite increased the prices of their interior molded
doors in the same or similar percentage increments, either simultaneously or in
brief succession of each other.”
Defendants deny the allegations. There was a related
antitrust suit against JELD-WEN and Masonite, which settled for $61,600,000,
with the two companies contributing equal amounts and, natch, denying the
allegations there too.
Chicago Clearing Corporation is preparing claims for this
litigation, and for 38 other upcoming securities settlements. If you would like to talk
about this litigation, some other litigations, or just gripe about how they
don’t make ‘em like they used to, then give us a call today.