Consumer Telescope Manufacturers Antitrust Class Action

This antitrust class action brings suit against a number of companies in the US, Canada, China, and Taiwan, who make and sell telescopes. The complaint alleges that the companies engaged in anticompetitive actions to manipulate prices and allocate markets for telescopes in the US.

The class for this action is all persons and entities who indirectly bought a telescope, for their own use and not for resale, between January 1, 2005 and August 31, 2019, that was made or sold by the defendants or co-conspirators in this case or any of their current or former affiliates.

The defendants in this case include Celestron Acquisition, LLC, Nantong Schmidt Opto-Electrical Technology Co., Ltd., Olivon Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Olivon USA, LLC, Sky-Watcher Canada, Sky-Watcher USA, Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd., SW Technology Corp., Synta Canada International Enterprises Ltd., Synta Technology Corp. of Taiwan, and Ningbo Sunny Electronic Co. Ltd. In addition, the complaint names a number of co-conspirators.

The complaint alleges that the anticompetitive conduct occurs in two markets.

The first is the manufacturing market. Here, Sunny and Synta account for 80 percent of the market. The complaint alleges, “Although Sunny and Synta are each capable of manufacturing all types of consumer telescopes, Sunny and Synta have an illegal agreement or understanding that Synta manufactures higher-end products, while Sunny manufactures lower-end products.” Because of that, the complaint says, “Synta will not manufacture or respond to a request for quotation for products offered by Sunny, and vice versa.”

The second is the distribution market. Sunny and Synta, the complaint says, “collectively dominate the consumer telescope market in the United States by manufacturing, marketing, and/or selling over 80 percent of consumer telescopes in the United States.” In 2005, Synta acquired Celestron. According to the complaint, “Celestron became the dominant telescope distributor in the United States through [the companies’ and their co-conspirators’] efforts. Subsequently, Sunny acquired Meade with Synta’s help and assistance.”

The complaint refers to an antitrust case filed in November 2016 by Orion Technologies, Inc. against Sunny, naming Synta as its partner. That case alleged that Sunny and Synta engaged in a number of anticompetitive actions, including

  • Fixing the prices and credit terms for consumer telescopes bought in the US;
  • Helping Sunny to purchase of Meade; and
  • Dividing the telescope market according to the type of product and allocating customers.

Orion also alleged that Sunny and Synta were trying to form a monopoly and to push Orion out of the market.

The jury found in Orion’s favor and awarded Orion $16.8 million in damages; the judge trebled that amount and awarded post-judgment interest, for a partial final judgment of $50.4 million.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

Consumer Telescope Manufacturers Antitrust Complaint

June 17, 2020

This antitrust class action brings suit against a number of companies in the US, Canada, China, and Taiwan, who make and sell telescopes. The complaint alleges that the companies engaged in anticompetitive actions to manipulate prices and allocate markets for telescopes in the US.

Consumer Telescope Manufacturers Antitrust Complaint

Case Event History

Consumer Telescope Manufacturers Antitrust Complaint

June 17, 2020

This antitrust class action brings suit against a number of companies in the US, Canada, China, and Taiwan, who make and sell telescopes. The complaint alleges that the companies engaged in anticompetitive actions to manipulate prices and allocate markets for telescopes in the US.

Consumer Telescope Manufacturers Antitrust Complaint
Tags: Allocating Customers or Markets, Antitrust, Collusion and Price Fixing