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Michelin vs. Bandag trial starts this Monday

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The trial between Michelin North America Inc. (MNA) and Bandag Inc. starts this Monday, May 13, in Des Moines, Iowa.

Bandag spent $4 million in legal fees related to the litigation during the first quarter of 2002.

"We look forward to the favorable resolution of (our) litigation with Michelin this summer," Bandag Chairman and CEO Martin Carver said last month.

Bandag originally sued Michelin in September 1999 for "inducing...dealers to breach or not renew their agreements with Bandag and convert to Michelin," misappropriating trade secrets, engaging in predatory pricing and other activities designed "to destroy (Bandag) as a competitive force" in United States retreading.

In February 2001, MNA added Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. (BFAH) -- then Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. -- as a defendant in its countersuit against Bandag.

Three months later, a federal court shot down an injunction filed by MNA that would have prevented Bandag and BFAH from using business incentives in tandem to entice commercial tire dealers to sell their respective products.

Bandag enjoys 44% of the U.S. truck tire retread market, according to Modern Tire Dealer statistics; MNA has 10% retread market share.

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