Prevent says the automaker kept the international parts supplier from acquiring smaller distressed competitors in order to “maintain its stranglehold over suppliers of automotive component parts.”
Volkswagen got written agreements from suppliers to refuse to sell themselves to Prevent and otherwise exerted its influence over weaker suppliers with a “high dependency” on the company, according to the complaint.
“This strategy was carried out with the purpose and effect of suppressing competition, maintaining Volkswagen’s market power over suppliers, and in the process causing massive losses to Prevent,” the complaint says.
Cause(s) of Action: Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act; Michigan antitrust law; tortious interference; conspiracy; unjust enrichment.
Relief: Treble damages; attorneys’ fees; permanent injunction; restitution.
Response: Volkswagen rejects the claims and will defend itself against them, the company said in an emailed statement. Volkswagen will also seek money from Prevent for the damage caused by the stopped parts supplies in 2016 and 2018, it said.
Attorneys: Prevent is represented by Boies Schiller Flexner LLP and the Miller Law Firm PC.
The case is Prevent USA Corporation et al v. Volkswagen, AG et al, E.D. Mich., No. 2:19-cv-13400, complaint filed 11/18/19.
--With assistance from Christoph Rauwald (Bloomberg).