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Sinclair denies allegations
Hurst International sues Sinclair for excluding competition in fruit labeling
Hurst International LLC is a Southern California manufacturer of labels and labeling equipment that applies labels to fruits and vegetables purchased at grocery retailers. Hurst filed suit against competitor Sinclair Systems, International in Federal Court claiming that Sinclair is engaging in unlawful and competitively exclusionary conduct such as below-cost pricing and entering into contracts in an effort to charge higher prices in markets where Hurst does not compete.
Sinclair is the largest manufacturer of fruits and vegetable labels and the labeling systems used to apply such labels, with an estimated market share of over 70%. Hurst is seeking the court’s assistance to stop Sinclair from continuing to engage in anticompetitive conduct, which includes providing customers with free equipment, free labels and labels offered at deep discounts for the purpose of locking-out competition and maintaining their market share. Hurst claims that these practices result in an anti-competitive environment for all of Sinclair’s competitors. The purpose of the suit is to ensure a “level playing field” for all labeling companies and allow the produce industry the ability to adopt critical new technologies that vastly increases food safety.
Sinclair will defend against claims
Sinclair has commented and denies Hurst’s allegations and intends to vigorously defend against Hurst's claims in the lawsuit. "We have at all times competed lawfully and in full compliance with the antitrust laws; Hurst's allegations of anticompetitive conduct are meritless," says Colin P. Woodward, Sinclair's CEO. "Our success is the result of the high quality of our products and extraordinary level of customer service." Sinclair remains focused on serving its customers and will not be distracted from that mission.
Publication date: 11/7/2017
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