CRH, PLC, through its subsidiary Oldcastle, is the largest producer of asphalt and the third-largest producer of aggregate in the U.S. the complaint alleges that through a series of acquisitions and anticompetitive actions, CRH has effectively exercised significant market power in West Virginia aggregate and asphalt markets and conspired to monopolize the state-approved asphalt and paving market, thus reducing competition and maximizing profits at the taxpayers’ expense.. The conduct alleged includes inducing boycotts against competitors, threatening to put new competitors out of business; mandating statewide covenants not to compete for up to 10 years from competitors. The state alleged that CRH’s conduct has significantly increased prices for state road paving contracts in the three markets in the state between 2010 and 2014. the complaint included counts of violations of W.Va. Code 47-18-3 (restraint of trade); W.Va. Code 47-18-4 (monopolization and attempt to monopolize) and unjust enrichment. the complaint seeks injunctive relief, treble damages, disgorgement and restitution, divestiture; civil penalties and costs.
Under a settlement reached in 2020, The settlement requires West Virginia Paving, Kelly Paving and American Asphalt to make a combined, upfront payment of $30.35 million to the state and local participants. West Virginia Paving also agreed to provide the state an additional $71 million in credits that can be applied to already completed, yet unpaid, road projects and future work over the next seven years. Non-monetary terms include a mix of price restrictions, the elimination of a non-compete clause and required 120-day notice of any contemplated acquisition, merger or joint venture that exceeds $500,000 in nine southeastern counties. West Virginia Paving and CRH must give the same notice for any such transaction that exceeds $1 million in 16 additional counties from the Mid-Ohio Valley, through the Charleston-Huntington metro area and further south to the Big Sandy River and Tug Fork. The settlement also gives American Asphalt control of a joint venture with two CRH subsidiaries and ends a non-compete clause, allowing American’s owner to sell asphalt more broadly. In return, the CRH subsidiaries can move forward with eliminating a requirement to buy a minimum amount of asphalt from the joint venture. The settlement imposes price restrictions upon co-defendant Camden Materials LLC – a joint venture between Kelly Paving and West Virginia Paving. The limits will remain in place for seven years unless an unaffiliated, third-party competitor takes over Camden Materials.