Mergers & Acquisitions & Policy Changes
Franchise Awarded $4 Million in Damages for Discontinued Line
In Anderson Tractor et al. v. Fiat et al (1996).; Brown’s Tractor et al. v. Ford New Holland et al. (1998); and C&B Equipment et al. v. Fiat et al. (1996, liability; 1997, damages), we recovered in excess of $4 million for Fiat dealers who were put out of business by a corporate merger when Ford New Holland bought the Fiat Tractor line and then discontinued it.
Franchise Termination Without Good Cause
In FMS v. Volvo Construction Equipment North America (Ill. Dist. Ct. 2006), a jury awarded $2.1 million to our client, a dealer in Samsung excavators. The jury agreed with our argument that when Volvo bought Samsung and re-branded Samsung excavators as Volvo excavators, it terminated FMS as a dealer without good cause.
Franchise/Manufacturer Re-branding is Not Product Withdrawal
In Coelho & Bachetti, Inc. v. Ford New Holland, Inc., Bus. Franchise Guide (CCH) ¶ 10,923 (A.A.A. 1996), an arbitrator held that the manufacturer’s re-branding of a product line did not constitute a bona fide total product withdrawal, and awarded damages in the millions of dollars to our clients.
Protections Available to Franchise Dealers
In Clark Equipment v. Volvo Constr. Equip. North Am., Inc., the court held that Volvo’s termination of its dealership agreement with the plaintiff, in connection with its re-branding of Champion motor graders as Volvo motor graders, violated the good cause protections available to dealers under the Arkansas Franchise Act.
No Legal Right to Change Franchise Policies
In Kevin Bores, et al. v. Domino’s Pizza, LLC (Mn. Dist. Ct. 2007), the court held that the franchisor did not have the legal right to change its policies to require its franchisees to buy its computer system exclusively from it.