Glasslam issues complaint for “Anti-Competitive and Illegal Practices”

Glasslam CEO Steve Howes has announced that he has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), advancing “anti-competitive and illegal practices by several companies, trade organizations and ..

Glasslam CEO Steve Howes has announced that he has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), advancing “anti-competitive and illegal practices by several companies, trade organizations and individuals,” including Edgetech I.G., the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA). In the letter, dated 11 February 2010, Howes states that Glasslam (also known as Nebula Glass International) was established in 1983 to serve the needs of the glass and window industries by supplying resin products for the production of laminated and decorative door glass. The letter continues saying that Glasslam entered the warm-edge foam spacer market in 2007 and that, as it started production on its new spacer plant in 2007, “Edgetech was already taking steps to hinder Glasslam“s entry in the market.” The filing also claims that IGMA and IGCC “ignore their own rules to aid Edgetech in the market.” The letter continues, “The evidence is clear that Edgetech I.G. has been fraudulently using leadership positions in IGCC/IGMA/IGMAC to both violate honest certification of insulating glass units and deter competition by blocking rulings of equivalency of Glasslam“s products in the market.” Edgetech released a statement on 17 February in which it says it is prepared to defend itself against Glasslam International“s false accusations, and says: “Glasslam International recently sent Edgetech I.G. a copy of a letter addressed to the Federal Trade Commission in which it alleges that Edgetech, the IGCC, and IGMA collectively undertook several actions aimed at inhibiting Glasslam“s spacer product from entering the marketplace. Glasslam“s assertions are meritless. 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”. Margaret Webb, executive director of IGMA said that the Alliance will not address specific allegations contained in Glasslam“s letter of complaint at present but will approach this matter further when it deems suitable to do so. “We do not agree with the complaint,” she said. “IGMA operates under and is in compliance with our Anti-Trust Guidelines, Conflict of Interest and Intellectual Property polices as established and documented by the organization,” she continues. “IGMA uses an open process that seeks extensive technical input from all facets of the IG industry (member and non-member companies alike) for the development of certification programme requirements and voluntary guidelines and recommendations for IG unit manufacturing.” Ms. Webb also said, “We realize that not everyone may agree with the results of our work, but our programmes are based on ongoing analysis of technologies, research designed to improve current practices and broad technical input.” She continued saying that IGMA“s membership includes certified insulating glass manufacturers, suppliers and associates, as well as window manufacturers, representatives from the architectural sector, those involved in energy efficiency, code officials and other people working and interested in the design and long-term performance of insulating glass units. “We work closely with other associations, standards“ bodies and governments to establish and support the standards under which IG units are certified,” she said. “IGMA is the world“s leading organization on the engineering and manufacturing of insulating glass, and we are dedicated to developing and advancing new technologies in the manufacture of insulating glass units.” John Kent, from the IGCC“s said he also received a letter from Glasslam regarding the complaint letter sent to the FTC. “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,” said Kent. “IGCC has always operated, and will continue to do so, in accordance with IGCC“s open and balanced parliamentary due process procedure, where 50% of the voting power of the organization is vested with Industry Representatives and 50% with 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.” Glasslam“s Steve Howes also said, in a separate letter on 11 February 2010, that, “We are also filing a complaint with the Anti-Trust Division of the United States Justice Department, seeking an investigation into multiple violations including, “monopolizing trade a felony” and “theft or bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds.”