Bill McCollum, Florida attorney general, has sued nine manufacturers of after-market auto filters, alleging they schemed to manipulate prices. Honeywell International Inc., which has an aeronautics division in Pinellas County, is among the companies named as defendants, according to a release. The lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago accuses the manufacturers of scheming to maximize profits by illegally fixing prices, allocating customers and eliminating price competition. The complaint alleges the companies knowingly participated in the scheme since at least 1999. The filters were sold throughout the United States at artificially inflated prices, the release said. High-level filter company executives conspired to maintain artificially high prices by agreeing among themselves to manipulate prices, the complaint contends. The lawsuit is among a group of filter-related cases consolidated in Chicago. The complaint seeks civil penalties of $1 million per violation against each defendant. In addition to Honeywell, defendants named are Purolator Filters, Wix Filtration Corp., Cummins Filtration Inc., Donaldson Co., Baldwin Filters, Affinia Group Inc. and ArvinMeritor Inc.