Companies to Pay Ohio $11.5 Million to Settle Road Salt Lawsuit

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Attorney General Mike DeWine says Ohio has reached an $11.5 million settlement with two rock salt producers who officials say conspired to drive up salt prices paid by the state and its local governments.

The settlement announced Wednesday dismisses a lawsuit filed by the state in 2012 against Cargill Inc. and Morton Salt Inc. It alleged the two companies agreed not to compete with each other to inflate prices over a decade, resulting in Ohio and local governments paying above-market prices for rock salt to de-ice roads.

Cargill will pay $7.7 million of the settlement. Morton agreed to pay nearly $3.8 million.

Cargill and Morton representatives in separate statements Wednesday said the companies deny wrongdoing and the settlement allows them to focus on providing salt for safe winter driving.