Fuyao named in market ‘conspiracy’ lawsuit

Published: Tuesday, May 21, 2019 @ 12:20 PM

Fuyao Glass America’s Moraine plant and headquarters. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Fuyao Glass America’s Moraine plant and headquarters. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Fuyao Glass America has been named in a lawsuit in New York state alleging a conspiracy to starve an aftermarket auto glass wholesaler of products.

In February this year, the companies O.E.M. Glass Network Inc. and Brooklyn Wholesale Glass Inc. — known collectively as “OEMGN” — filed suit against two auto glass distributors and several manufacturers, including Moraine-based Fuyao Glass America, alleging they conspired against the two companies in New York and boycotted them in an attempt to eliminate them from the market.

Last month the courts extended time for the defense to file a response to claims made against them by OEMGN, a glass industry web site reported.

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The suit was filed in federal court in New York against not only Fuyao, but Mygrant Glass Company Inc., Interstate Glass of Amityville NY LLC, Metro Glass Distributing Inc., Xinyi Auto Glass North America Corp., Vitro S.A.B. de C.V., Vitro Automotive Glass LLC, Auto Temp Inc. and Sika Corp.

“This case concerns an illegal conspiracy among defendants to eliminate OEMGN, a wholesaler of aftermarket auto glass, by orchestrating a group boycott among OEMGN’s competitors and suppliers,” the lawsuit’s initial filing said. “To effectuate this scheme, defendants Mygrant and Interstate – two of OEMGN’s competitors – abused their market heft to convince OEMGN’s suppliers, the manufacturer defendants, to agree to cut off product sales to OEMGN, refuse further dealings with it, and take measures to preclude OEMGN from obtaining these manufacturers’ products through alternative channels.”

Last week, the defendants moved jointly to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the suit offers “no factual allegations to support OEMGN’s claim” that the defendants agreed to boycott the plaintiffs.

“The complaint fails to state a claim for an antitrust violation, or allege any other intentional or dishonest conduct,” the motion to dismiss said. “In addition, the complaint is devoid of specific allegations that prospective contract negotiations would have culminated in a contract but for the interference.”

OEMGN contends that for an aftermarket auto glass wholesaler such as itself to be competitive, it must maintain “a robust and varied stock of products, including those produced by the manufacturer defendants, to enable the wholesaler to provide products within hours of a retailer’s order.”

A message seeking comment was sent to a San Francisco attorney representing Fuyao in the suit.

Fuyao Glass America has operated in Moraine since 2014 and has more than 2,000 employees today.

The lawsuit was first filed February 6 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.