GE begins legal proceedings against Whirlpool

In a complaint filed on the 15 February in a federal court in the US state of Kentucky, GE has alleged that Embraco North America, a venture controlled by consumer goods giant Whirlpool and two other European suppliers, Danfoss of Denmark and Household Compressors Holding of Italy, were involved in a price-fixing campaign, which meant that GE overpaid for refrigerator parts.

The company also claims that this activity deprived it “of innovation that would have resulted in increased efficiency, as well as increased sales and profits, in its sales of refrigerators and other refrigeration equipment”.

It is alleged that the companies met repeatedly over a number of years to push compressor prices higher than the market value and would also agree on a bargaining strategy that saw the companies come in with high prices only to then agree a small discount.

GE has stated that it is seeking three times the amount of unspecified monetary damages.

Responding to the claims an Embraco spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal that “We are studying the lawsuit and have no comment at this time, except to say that Embraco does not believe that it has caused any harm to GE”.

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