Judge Dismisses Antitrust Suit Against Caterpillar

The lawsuit accused Caterpillar and others of conspiring to thwart an online seller of Chinese construction equipment.

📅   Mon January 25, 2016 - National Edition


The lawsuit accused Caterpillar and others of conspiring to thwart online seller of Chinese construction equipment.
The lawsuit accused Caterpillar and others of conspiring to thwart online seller of Chinese construction equipment.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that theU.S. District Judge in Delaware dismissed an antitrust lawsuit accusing Caterpillar Inc.and other heavy-equipment makers of conspiring to thwart an online seller of Chinese construction equipment.

A year ago, International Construction Products LLC, Asheville, N.C., or ICP, filed a suitalleging that Caterpillar, Komatsu Ltd of Japan and a North American unit of Sweden'sAB Volvo threatened to boycott IronPlanet Inc. if that website operator helped ICP sell equipment. As a result, the suit said, IronPlanet stopped working with ICP, depriving it of “a feasible means to efficiently bring its products to market.”

U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews wrote in a ruling dated Thursday that ICP had provided “no facts that directly show the existence of an agreement” among the manufacturers. He also wrote that ICP hadn't shown it lacked alternative means of distributing machinery. ICP's suit stated that Caterpillar had about a 40% share of the U.S. market for heavy construction equipment, the judge wrote, but that didn't prove the company had monopoly power.

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