Vitamin price-fixing case settled for $25 million

An international group of vitamin manufacturers that allegedly carried a price-fixing conspiracy over the course of 12 years has agreed to pay over $25 million to settle a class action lawsuit by 22 states and the District of Columbia.

The suit accuses the vitamin makers of flouting state and federal antitrust laws by colluding on prices -- fixing, raising or maintaining them -- and plotting to target certain markets and consumers. It alleges the fraud spanned from January 1988 to December 1999.

"Price-fixing among competitors is not only unfair; it's illegal and intolerable, especially where consumers' health is involved," Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell said in a statement.