Question: Mercedes Benz of North America MBNA was the exclusive franchiser

Mercedes Benz of North America (MBNA) was the exclusive franchiser of ­Mercedes Benz dealerships in the United States. MBNA’s franchise agreements required each dealer to establish a customer service department for the repair of ­Mercedes Benz automobiles and required dealers to purchase Mercedes Benz replacement parts from MBNA. At least eight independent wholesale distributors, including Metrix Warehouse, Inc. (Metrix), sold replacement parts for Mercedes Benz automobiles. Because they were precluded from selling parts to Mercedes Benz dealers, these parts distributors sold their replacement parts to independent garages that specialized in the repair of Mercedes Benz automobiles. Evidence showed that Metrix sold replacement parts for Mercedes Benz automobiles of equal quality and at a lower price than those sold by MBNA. Metrix sued MBNA, alleging a tying arrangement, in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Who wins? Metrix Warehouse, Inc. v. Mercedes Benz of North America, Inc., 828 F. 2d 1033, 1987 U. S. App. Lexis 12341 (United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit)

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