Guitar Center gets sued for 1 billion dollars :)
Guitar Center's latest Annual Report (10K) contains the following statement:
On November 29, 2005, a case was filed against us and other defendants, including our Chief Executive Officer, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The complaint asserts, among other things, violations of the Federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO) and a corresponding Florida statute, Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Antitrust Act, Section 2 of the Clayton Act (as amended by the Robinson-Patman Act), the Antidumping Act of 1916, the Florida Antitrust Act of 1980, and the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, as well as tortious interference with business relationship under Florida law and civil conspiracy under Florida law by some or all of the identified defendants in connection with the claimed inability of Ace Pro Sound and Recording, L.L.C. to obtain vendor lines for its store. The complaint purports to be made as a class action on behalf of all current and former retail sellers of musical instruments and/or sound equipment and/or recording equipment with stores located in geographical regions in the United States wherein some or all of the defendants have carried on business, and seeks compensatory damages, treble damages, punitive damages, injunctive relief and attorneys fees. Service relating to the complaint was made on us on January 12, 2006 and a responsive pleading is due in March 2006.
While we believe this lawsuit is without merit and intend to defend it vigorously, it may, regardless of the outcome, result in substantial expenses and damages to us and may significantly divert the attention of our management. There can be no assurance that we will be able to achieve a favorable settlement of this lawsuit or obtain a favorable resolution of this lawsuit if it is not settled. An unfavorable resolution of this lawsuit could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations. Regardless of the outcome, the costs and expenses incurred by us to defend this lawsuit could adversely impact our financial condition.
The Music Trades, April 2006 edition also carries an article titled:
Fred Rubin Files $1.0 Billion Suit Against Guitar Center & Seven Suppliers
"Class action alleges that GC prevented Korg USA, JBL, Mackie, St. Louis Music, TASCAM, Telex, and Yamaha from selling to his Ace Pro Sound & Recording"
As it says, those companies above are also defendants in this suit.