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Federal court rules against Michelin motion

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A federal court has denied a preliminary injunction motion against Bandag which had been filed by Michelin North America Inc.

The motion would have prevented Bandag and Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. (BFS) from working together to provide business incentives to commercial truck tire dealers to sell Bandag retreads or Bridgestone/Firestone truck tires.

In February, Michelin accused BFS of joining forces with Bandag "to delay or block" the tiremaker "from competing in the retreading market" and "inducing dealers not to adopt (its) Michelin Retread Technologies Inc. (MRTI) system." Bandag originally sued Michelin in September 1999 for "inducing... dealers to breach or not renew their agreements whith Bandag and convert to Michelin."

The federal court determined that Michelin had not adequately demonstrated a threat of irreparable harm to support a preliminary injunction.

Also, the court concluded it was likely that Bandag and BFS would encounter significant harm if the motion were granted because it would hinder free discussion and lawful cooperation and may detrimentally affect the companies' customers, Bandag reports.

Although the motion for preliminary injunction was denied, the lawsuit between Bandag and Michelin goes on and is scheduled for trial next January.

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