Antitrust Class Actions Dismissed Against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., July 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Dismissing a consolidated antitrust class action brought on behalf of wholesalers across the country, a U.S. District Court (Northern District of Georgia - Atlanta Division) ruled that evidence did no
Disagreeing with the wholesalers' contention and granting summary judgment to the cigarette manufacturers, U.S. District Court Judge Owen Forrester ruled that: " ... No reasonable jury could conclude that the activities in the cigarette industry during the relevant timeframe reflect a conspiracy to fix prices."
Darryl Marsch, senior counsel for Reynolds Tobacco, said: "As the judge determined, these cases had no merit. Reynolds Tobacco makes unilateral pricing decisions based on its independent business judgment.
"We believe that these cases were manufactured by plaintiffs' lawyers, not the wholesalers that comprised the class," he continued. "Our wholesale distributors understand that Reynolds Tobacco competes intensely with the rest of the industry. The bottom line is that these cases should never have been brought in the first place."
R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (RJRT) is a wholly owned subsidiary of R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: RJR - News). R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company is the second-largest tobacco company in the United States, manufacturing about one of every four cigarettes sold in the United States. Reynolds Tobacco's product line includes four of the nation's 10 best-selling cigarette brands: Camel, Winston, Salem and Doral. Reynolds Tobacco has been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." For more information about RJRT, visit the company's web site at www.rjrt.com.