Glasslam Files FTC Complaint Against Edgetech and Two Industry Groups; Alleges They've Engaged in "Anti-Competitive and Illegal Practices"
by Tara Taffera
February 16, 2010

Glasslam CEO Steve Howes says he sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) dated February 11, 2010, alleging "anti-competitive and illegal practices by several companies, trade organizations and individuals," including Edgetech IG, the Insulating Glass Certification Council (IGCC) and the Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA).

In the letter, Howes states that Glasslam (also known as Nebula Glass International) was founded 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. It goes on to say that in 2007, Glasslam entered the warm-edge foam spacer market. As Glasslam began production on its new spacer plant in 2007, the company says "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 IG 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 today saying it is prepared to defend itself against Glasslam International's false accusations.
"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," reads the Edgetech statement.

IGMA executive director Margaret Webb says IGMA will not address specific allegations contained in Glasslam's letter of complaint at the present time but will address this matter further when it is appropriate to do so. "We do not agree with the complaint," she says.

"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 adds. "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 program requirements and voluntary guidelines and recommendations for IG unit manufacturing."

She adds, "We realize that not everyone may agree with the results of our work, but our programs are based on ongoing analysis of technologies, research designed to improve current practices and broad technical input."

Webb points out that IGMA's membership is comprised of certified insulating glass manufacturers, their suppliers and associates plus window manufacturers, representatives from the architectural community, energy efficiency lobbies, code officials and other parties 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 adds. "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."

The IGCC's John Kent says he has also received a letter from Glasslam (Nebula Glass International Inc.) stating that Glasslam has submitted a complaint letter to the FTC complaining about IGCC as well as IGMA, IGMAC, Edgetech IG Inc., and several specific persons.

"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," says 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 percent of the voting power of the organization is vested with Industry Representatives and 50 percent 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."

In a separate letter, also dated February 11, 2010, Howes says, "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."

CLICK HERE to read the letter Glasslam sent to IGCC, IGMA, Edgetech I.G. and others.

CLICK HERE to read Glasslam's letter to the FTC.

CLICK HERE to read the full complaint.

USGNN.com™ has been unable to verify with the FTC that the complaint has been received there. Calls to the FTC's public affairs office had not been returned at press time.

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