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Pepper Hamilton Helps Defeat Group Boycott Antitrust Suit

1/27/2016
Pepper Hamilton Helps Defeat Group Boycott Antitrust Suit

The firm secures a win for client Volvo Construction Equipment North America LLC.

Pepper Hamilton LLP, a multipractice law firm with a well-reputed antitrust practice, has helped defeat a group boycott antitrust suit filed against several truck manufacturers, including Volvo Construction Equipment North America LLC, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware.

On January 21, 2016, District Judge Richard G. Andrews dismissed International Construction Products LLC's group boycott and exclusive dealing claims against Caterpillar Inc., Komatsu America Corp. and the Volvo subsidiary in International Construction Products LLC v. Caterpillar Inc. et al.

The suit, dating from January 2015, claims that the three manufacturers were threatened by ICP's attempts to sell Chinese-made construction equipment directly to consumers online at discounts up to 40 percent. ICP says the manufacturers conspired to block the company’s online distribution by strong-arming its online auction partner IronPlanet into breaking a contract.

But the court ruled that ICP couldn't provide any facts that directly showed the manufacturers had agreed to threaten to stop doing business with IronPlanet and that there was not enough in the complaint to infer that what happened was anything more than parallel conduct.

Jeremy Heep, lead counsel in the case and co-chair of Pepper Hamilton’s Antitrust and Competition Section, said the company was "delighted with the result."

Other Pepper Hamilton lawyers involved in the case included Barbara W. Mather, James T. Giles, M. Duncan Grant, James H.S. Levine, Michael A. Schwartz, Robin P. Sumner, Melissa Hatch O'Donnell.

Other firms in this case were DLA Piper, Potter Anderson & Corroon LLP and Baker & Hostetler LLP.

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