A class action lawsuit has been filed against the two companies for allegedly colluding to prevent the sale of third party ink cartridges in Staples stores. The lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Boston and claims Hewlett-Packard is paying Staples over $100 million to get it to stop selling lower priced ink refills. The class action claims the hardware maker HP and office supply retailer Staples inflated the price of printer ink cartridges in violation of federal antitrust law.
The price of ink for HP ink-jet printers can be as much as $8,000 per gallon. HP is currently the dominant company in the printing market, and a considerable portion of the company's profits come from ink. The suit claims that the actions violated the Sherman Act and Clayton Act, which prohibit noncompetitive behavior. It seeks unspecified money damages and asks the court to stop HP and Staples from engaging in noncompetitive acts.