A federal appeals court upheld a jury award to Ross-Simmons Hardwood Lumber, after Weyerhaeuser was judged to have monopolised the Pacific Northwest market for finished alder by paying above-market prices for scarce hardwood logs.

Several justices have criticised an instruction to the jury that asked whether Weyerhaeuser bought “more logs than it needed”, preventing Ross-Simmons from acquiring logs at a “fair price”.

Weyerhaeuser wanted the high court to apply a legal standard it used in a 1993 predatory-pricing case. That decision required proof an anti-trust defendant sold its product below cost and was likely to recoup those losses after competition had been driven out.

Meanwhile, Weyerhaeuser has closed its veneer and plywood facility in Mountain Pine, Arkansas, as part of its “ongoing strategic review”.

Chief executive officer Steven Rogel said the closure of the mill was a difficult decision. “But,” he said, “the reality of difficult markets requires that we allocate our capital with great prudence to ensure all manufacturing operations remain competitive and well-positioned to serve our customers.”