Bryan Cohen Feb. 10, 2014, 3:34pm

SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a settlement agreement on Thursday with two contractors to resolve allegations they engaged in illegal and anticompetitive practices related to bidding on highway pavement marking contracts.

3M and Specialized Pavement Marking allegedly engaged in federal and state antitrust law violations related to the sale and installation of roadway markings for public road products. Rosenblum's office is charged with enforcing state and federal antitrust laws.

3M and SPM allegedly exchanged information about bids, coordinated bids, provided false certifications and allocated projects. Rosenblum's office alleged the collusion between the two companies reduced competition and caused the government to receive less advantageous terms for the purchase and installation of roadway marking products.

"Reducing competition involving public roadway projects is unacceptable," Rosenblum said. "Honest competition is crucial to the integrity of the public procurement process."

Under the terms of the agreement, 3M and SPM must pay a combined $750,000 to the state and provide a $750,000 credit to the Oregon Department of Transportation for a total settlement of $1.5 million. The companies also agreed to provide the department with ongoing certification of compliance and refrain from conduct that could significantly lessen competition.

3M and SPM denied any wrongdoing as part of the agreement.

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