Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 18,800+ case briefs...

Minn-Chem, Inc. v. Agrium Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
683 F.3d 845 (2012)


Facts

Minn-Chem, Inc. and other American potash buyers (plaintiffs) sued, claiming price-fixing by seven entities that controlled 71 percent of the world’s potash supply (defendants). Potash is a potassium-rich mineral salt used primarily in agricultural fertilizers. Reserves lie in only a few regions, with over half the global capacity coming from mines in Canada, Russia, and Belarus. Because potash is the same from any supplier, buyers choose suppliers based mainly on price. The United States is the world’s second-largest potash consumer after China. In 2008 the U.S. consumed over six million tons of potash, over five million tons from imports. Suppliers allegedly formed a cartel that negotiated inflated prices overseas and then used those prices as a benchmark to increase U.S. pricing. Over a five-year period, potash prices increased 600 percent despite U.S. fertilizer consumption remaining relatively steady. The suppliers had ample opportunity to conspire and coordinate their prices as joint venturers and equal shareholders in a company that sold, marketed, and distributed potash worldwide. Executives from the potash suppliers regularly held meetings, visited each other’s plants, and attended conferences together. When global demand for potash declined, one supplier after another closed mines or implemented cutbacks, collectively removing a half million tons of potash from the market. The supply restriction created shortages that forced China to accept price increases. Shortly afterward, the suppliers implemented similar price increases globally. The suppliers moved to dismiss the suit, arguing the claims did not satisfy Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act (FTAIA) requirements. The district court refused to dismiss but certified its ruling to allow an immediate interlocutory appeal. A panel of Seventh Circuit judges voted to reverse. The Seventh Circuit then reheard the case en banc.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Wood, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 498,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 498,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 18,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers


Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial