Baker’s Dozen: 13 Lawsuits Allege Anticompetitive Practices by Deere
The company faces more than a dozen lawsuits in six states accusing it of anti-competitive practices. Here’s a rundown of the suits that have been filed so far.
Progress towards big, substantive social transformations happens slowly…and then all at once. After all, that was how it played out with efforts like holding Big Tobacco to account for the generations of harm tobacco products caused to communities and the concerted, decades-long industry effort to confuse or undercut public health warnings about the health risks of smoking.
That campaign took close to 50 years, during which time tobacco companies successfully defended themselves against hundreds of negligence and liability claims for deceptive marketing practices brought by victims of smoking related illnesses. Then - by the 1990s - things started to change. Better resourced state attorneys general took up the mantle from individual consumers and started to pursue tobacco companies for large sums - compensation for the money expended by state Medicaid programs for smoking related illness. That effort culminated in a $200 billion “Master Settlement” with 46 U.S. states in 1998 that provided money through payments from tobacco companies and tobacco-related sales taxes for victim compensation and to fund smoking cessation programs. (Though states have been criticized for spending only a fraction of their settlement money on smoking cessation.)
Winds of Change Blowing for Big Ag
I think we can see a similar dynamic playing out now with regard to the anti-competitive practices of large manufacturers and electronics makers - though it is early days. A spate of lawsuits against agricultural equipment maker John Deere are just one example of that.