Manasek Auto Parts

A class action lawsuit has been filed against several auto parts manufacturers for allegedly conspiring to fix prices for replacement oil, air, fuel and transmission filters. Several auto parts companies are named as defendants, including Champion Laboratories, Cummins Filtration, Inc., The Donaldson Co., Baldwin Filters, Inc., Bosch, Mann + Hummel and ArvinMeritor, Inc. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, seeks damages and injunctive relief on behalf of a nationwide class of direct purchasers of filters.

The lawsuit alleges antitrust injuries, claiming the defendants worked in concert to inflate prices for oil, air, fuel and transmission filters nationwide. The complaint cites a sworn affidavit from a former employee who worked in a management capacity for two of the defendants listed. The affidavit is reported to be based on alleged recorded conversations, as well as personal knowledge of meetings between the defendants where they coordinated prices, rigged bids and allocate customers from at least January 1, 1999, to the present. The complaint alleges the defendants' actions violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act, the first US government action to limit cartels and monopolies.

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