Antitrust Suit Against Caterpillar Dismissed

January 25, 2016

U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews 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.

International Construction Products (ICP) in Asheville, North Carolina filed a suit alleging that Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Volvo threatened to boycott IronPlanet 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."

Judge Andrews ruling on January 21 said 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 was launched by industry veteran Tim Frank, former chairman/CEO of Sany America, with Wes Lee as CEO.