General Electric (NYSE:GE) filed a lawsuit on February 15 against several Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) subsidiaries and two European suppliers of refrigerant compressors in the federal U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky. GE’s lawsuit alleges that it was the “victim of the conspirator’s cartel,” which artificially pushed compressor market prices higher by illegally coordinating price increases with each other.
Fairfield, Connecticut-based GE is seeking a jury trial and requests unspecified punitive and compensatory damages. Whirlpool’s Embraco subsidiary; Whirlpool S.A., a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool; Household Compressors Holding SpA, an Italian company; and Danfoss A/S, a Danish company; were all named as defendants in the lawsuit. GE seeks an injunction against the companies that bars their violations of antitrust laws.
According to Bloomberg News, Embraco spokesperson Rosangela Santos released a statement that said in part that Embraco “does not believe that it has caused any harm to GE.”
However, Embraco pled guilty in 2010 to federal charges regarding price-fixing for its compressors for the time period between 2004 and 2007. In its lawsuit, GE claims this price-fixing conspiracy began as early as 1996…