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Organizations react to Glasslam allegations

Post Time:Feb 15,2010Classify:Industry NewsView:169

Nebula Glass International Inc. d.b.a. Glasslam, Pompano Beach, Fla., named Tracy Rogers, technical director,and Joe Erb, product manager, Edgetech IG, Cambridge, Ohio; Margaret Webb, executive director, Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance, Ottawa, Ontario; and John Kent, administrative manager, Insulating Glass Certification Council, Sackets Harbor, N.Y., in its formal complaint, dated Feb. 11,to the Federal Trade Commission. The complaint claimed anti-competitive and illegal practices on the part of Edgetech IG Inc., IGCC and IGMA. Glasslam also indicated plans to file a complaint with the Anti-Trust Division of the United States Department of Justice.

"Glasslam's assertions are meritless," said Erin Johnson, director of marketing, Edgetech IG. "Edgetech is proud of its reputation for integrity and quality, and will vigorously defend itself against these false accusations and will take any and all appropriate legal action."

Said Webb: "IGMA will not address any specific allegations in the press. IGMA is the world’s leading organization on the engineering and manufacturing of insulating glass and we are dedicated to developing and advancing new technology in the manufacturing of IG units. IGMA uses an open process that seeks extensive technical input from all facets of the IG industry for the developments of certification program requirements, voluntary guidelines and recommendations for IG unit manufacturing. We take very seriously the administration and development of standards for our two product certification program of IGUs, one for the North American market (ASTM E 2190) and the second specific to the Canadian market (CAN/CGSB 12.8-97). ... We recognize that not everyone may agree with the result of our work, but our programs are based on ongoing analysis of techologies, research designed to improve current practices and broad technical input."

Kent said: "We at IGCC, an I.R.C. Sec. 501(c)(3) not-for-profit product testing and industry standards-related organization (not a trade association), do not agree with Glasslam's complaint letter; we welcome disclosure of all the relevant facts; and we will continue to offer the same high level of service to the IG industry in promotion of the entire IG industry and in the public interest as we have offered for over 30 years. IGCC has always operated, and will continue to do so, in accordance with IGCC's open and balanced parliamentary due process procedure, where 50 percentof the voting power of the organization is vested with industry representatives and 50 percentwith independent public interest representatives, and in accordance with IGCC's well-documented corporate antitrust compliance policy. At the appropriate time, we will discuss this matter further."

In its complaint to the FTC, Glasslam claims its foam spacer products were kept out of the market due to barriers created in the establishment of IG testing and certification requirements and rules. The complaint also charges that Edgetech pressured raw material and equipment suppliers from working with Glasslam in the development, manufacture and marketing of its foam spacer products.

Glasslam also claims in the complaint that Key Communications and National Glass Association publications that cover the glass and window industries in North Americadid not publish releases on its spacer initiative because of heavy advertising and pressure from Edgetech IG.

"Glasslam N.G.I., along with the U.S. and Canadian insulating glass markets have been damaged by the conspiratory and collusive actions of Edgetech IG with members of the IGCC/IGMA/IGMAC, as well as raw material suppliers, trade magazines and industry groups," concluded Stephen Howes, Nebula CEO, at the end of the FTC complaint. "Illegal efforts to keep Glasslam out of a competitive playing field are easily proven and should be dealt with by a full investigation. The certifying organizations in question have written anti-trust policies that they need only read and follow to ensure a market with vigorous competition. One member (Edgetech IG) has corrupted the process and damaged an industry all the way from a supplier level to the consumers purchasing finished units containing insulating glass. The damages to our company because of these illegal activities have escalated into millions of dollars. We seek justice for the insulating glass industry and for our company. Our records and actions are an open book, and we offer any requested help to remedy the situation that now exists because of the despicable actions of a few."Stay tuned to GlassMagazine.com for updates.

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