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Aluminum sulfate, otherwise known as “alum,” is a chemical used to treat both waste water and drinking water. It is also used by pulp and paper making companies.
DeWine’s probe comes as three executives of chemical manufacturing companies face federal charges in New Jersey over allegations of bid rigging. The scheme reportedly involved competitors agreeing among themselves who would win bids to sell alum.
Bid rigging is illegal and can cost government agencies more money in artificially higher prices. DeWine’s office has jurisdiction to represent public entitis in antitrust matters.
Cities across the country have been launching legal claims over possible bid rigging since the federal case against two chemical companies came to light last fall.