A 2019 antitrust lawsuit against
At issue is whether Johns Manville, a unit of billionaire
Calcium silicate is used as a safe alternative to asbestos for high-temperature insulation materials. It's often used in industrial piping and equipment insulation. It can also be found in consumer products, like salt and antacids.
TPS accused Johns Manville of threatening to stop doing business with distributors if they bought TPS' calcium silicate. These alleged threats enabled Johns Manville to retain more than 97% of the market by
The Court of Appeals wrote of sufficient evidence that JM used its monopoly power to coerce distributors into not buying TPS's competing product. The court noted that Johns Manville achieved much higher gross margins on calcium silicate than on other products when it faced more competition.
The Court of Appeals also cited an email sent when TPS first entered the market, in which Johns Manville told sales staff they might need to "bring the sword" and warn distributors that their relationship might change "significantly" if they bought TPS' product. The suit alleges JM took this action because it recognized the threat TPS's superior and less expensive product posed to Johns Manville's market share.
"Viewing the evidence most favorably to TPS, we see JM as leaving its distributors with an all-or-nothing choice: stop doing business with TPS or lose access to JM's enormous thermal-insulation inventory," the
In its original 2019 complaint, TPS sought
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