General Electric to Pay Antitrust Damages of $131.4 Million
A Texas jury found unanimously that General Electric (“GE”) violated federal antitrust law by engaging in anticompetitive conduct affecting sales of refurbished anesthesia machines and the servicing of all GE anesthesia machines. It awarded actual damages of $43,083,344 to the plaintiffs—17 independent service organizations (“ISOs”) who compete with GE’s anesthesia sales and servicing businesses. Under the Clayton Act, damages are automatically trebled, bringing the total recovery to $131.4 million. Due to the complexity of this case, plaintiffs hired applEcon to assist their expert economist, Dr. Donald R. House, Sr., and his firm, RRC, Inc. With the help of Dr. House and the two consulting firms, plaintiffs were able to show that GE, the largest manufacturer of anesthesia machines in the U.S., illegally harmed competition by denying factory training to ISO technicians and by designating a distributor, Alpha Source, Inc., to be exclusive supplier of GE anesthesia machine replacement parts for ISOs beginning in 2011, thereby raising costs and delaying shipments.