|SRAM components, makers of Gripshift are seeking more|
than $30 million from Shimano in a court hearings which reopened Tuesday. SRAM alleges
Shimano violated California business codes by pricing shifters below cost in an attempt
Reported in trade mag Bicycle Retailer And Industry News, SRAM also alleges Shimano
breached a contract, violating a 1989 settlement between the companies. Details of
the breach-of-contract allegations are unknown because the settlement was confidential.
It is thought, however, that the contract allowed SRAM better access to the original
equipment market because it forced Shimano to change the way it sold parts.
Circuit Judge Gary Taylor is continuing the case he suspended last November in the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In his opening remarks
he said he expected the trial to last no longer than two weeks. He also said he was
surprised that the parties were unable to come to an out-of-court settlement. Stan
Day, SRAM’s president and Yoshi Shimano, Shimano’s president, were present at the
Richard Walsh, SRAM’s attorney, filed the complaint in 1996. The complaint alleged
Shimano violated federal antitrust laws and engaged in unfair trading practices in
California. Taylor dropped SRAM’s federal antitrust claim in 1997.