Three major heavy equipment companies were recently accused of monopolizing the heavy equipment market and going against anti-trust laws by International Construction Products, LLC. The company (ICP) claims that Caterpillar was in cahoots with both Komatsu America and Volvo to overtake the heavy equipment sales market from them, which would block any chance of Chinese heavy equipment sales online. The court case has reached the federal level after a district judge shot the claims made by ICP down saying there was no supporting evidence to reflect that there was indeed a monopolization of the market taking place.
After the judge told ICP that it was futile for them to continue further action in the matter, they decided to go against the judge’s views and file further amendments stating their claims in hopes that a new judge might see their side. ICP says that they use special sales tactics that include deep 40 percent discounts to their online customers, which the three major heavy equipment retailers feel threatened by. They say this is causing them to retaliate against ICP with product boycotts and blocking their sales with an auction partner that they go through.
There is no proof substantiating any of the claims of monopolization of the heavy equipment market of course, but ICP pointed out that the three heavy equipment retailers require inclusivity from dealers because Caterpillar and the other two heavy equipment retailers often do not let their dealers sell ICP products. In other words, they ask that dealers who sell their products do not sell heavy equipment from any of their competitors. While ICP feels threatened by this, it is a common sales tactic used by many companies, which was also pointed out by the judge. While it is understandable that ICP is trying to break in to a long standing market among the well known heavy equipment retailers, no one is sure whether or not this court case will truly level the playing field for them.