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JBaxLaw, Attorney
Category: Business Law
Satisfied Customers: 11396
Experience:  Experienced in business formation and licensing issues
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I am a distributor and have been incorporated for 23 years.

Resolved Question:

I am a distributor and have been incorporated for 23 years. I have a contractual relationship for product from my supplier, a major US corporation. That company has supplied us with a specific product, designed for a specific customer of ours for several years. This major corporation has gone directly to our customer and taken the account on a direct basis.
The loss of this business has cuased quite a bit of financial strain in that the customer was our largest single account.
Any basis for a lawsuit? Robinson-Pattman?
Thanks so much.
Tom Ruggiere
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Business Law
Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 7 years ago.
Did you have a contract concerning being a sole source or including a non-compete agreement with either of the involved businesses?

Thank you
Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 7 years ago.
Are all three businesses in Georgia?

Thank you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
NO. The plant that manufactures my product is in Tennesse and is one of many of this Memphis, TN based corporation. The Memphis Corporate "people" submitted the quote to my customer who is located in North Carolina.
Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 7 years ago.
I appreciate your patience. I am researching potential recourse which is dependent on the details of the situation.

Did you have a contract with either of the involved parties?

How was the involved information obtained? Was there a breach of a fiduciary duty by a high level employee, for example?

Thank you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I have a contract with my supplier which is basically a summary of the accounts that my company was selling to.A general statement to the effect that they would support our efforts at those accounts listed was in the context.I was also in a contract with my customer although it was coming to an end and bids were sent out to others including my supplier.

We submitted our proposal only on the item we had been supplying for years. My supplier submitted a proposal on many items which included that which they supplied to us. The two of us were the only companies to provide pricing on the item we supplied.

Information was received from our customer in the normal course of follow up. The situation was confirmed (not the price) by my contact at our suppliers plant level.

Expert:  JBaxLaw replied 7 years ago.
I was inquiring to determine if there may have been tortious interference with your customer business relationship. As you contract came to an end and the customer solicited bids widely, that does not appear applicable.

The supplier did not obtain any information from an employee in your company who had a fiduciary duty. If they had, this may support a tortious interference action.

This appears to have been an open bid that was handled appropriately. Unfortunately, you had no agreements in place to prevent this at the time. This was a permissible form of competition based on the information provided.

Thank you

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