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International Construction Products Defeats Summary Judgment Motion in Antitrust Suit Against Caterpillar
- Client News
- September 26, 2022
On behalf of heavy equipment importer International Construction Products, LLC (ICP), Paul, Weiss defeated Caterpillar, Inc.’s summary judgment motion in ICP’s long-running antitrust lawsuit against Caterpillar in Delaware federal court, allowing ICP’s case to proceed. ICP also defeated Caterpillar’s motion to exclude expert economic testimony.
In its lawsuit alleging group boycott antitrust and tortious interference claims against heavy construction equipment maker Caterpillar and others in 2015, ICP claims that defendants unlawfully conspired to pressure a third-party vendor, IronPlanet, Inc., an online construction equipment auction platform, to cancel its contract with ICP. This, in turn, blocked ICP from entering the heavy construction equipment market, costing it millions in lost revenue.
Following our oral argument in August opposing Caterpillar’s summary judgment motion, on September 26, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews found that ICP showed evidence of conscious parallelism—when companies independently adopt a common course of conduct, without any agreement or communication with competing companies, with an awareness of their likely response—in the timing of Caterpillar and other parties’ decision to pressure IronPlanet to terminate its relationship with ICP. Our client also fulfilled the “plus factors” required in a conscious parallelism case, including evidence of traditional elements of conspiracy, motive and actions contrary to self-interest on Caterpillar’s part. Judge Andrews also found genuine issues of material fact as to whether Caterpillar placed an unreasonable restraint on ICP’s trade, and whether it tortiously interfered with ICP’s contract with IronPlanet. He further held that Caterpillar’s “scattershot argument” to exclude the testimony of ICP’s economic expert was unpersuasive.
The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partner William Isaacson, who delivered the oral argument, and litigation partner Kannon Shanmugam and counsel Amy Mauser and Matthew Stachel.