Synta, Ningbo Sunny Consumer Telescope Antitrust Class Action

This is one of a number of antitrust class actions brought against makers and distributors of consumer telescopes in the US, Canada, Taiwan, and China. The complaint for this class action alleges that two companies were affiliates of each other rather than competitors, and that these companies, along with a number of others, colluded to fix prices, allocate products, and engage in other anticompetitive actions.

The defendant companies include Dar Tson “David” Shen, Synta Technology Corporation of Taiwan, Suzhou Synta Optical Technology Co., Ltd., Synta Canada International Enterprises Ltd., Nantong Schmidt Opto-Electrical Technology Co. Ltd., SW Technology Corporation, Sky-Watcher USA, Pacific Telescope Corp., Celestron Acquisition, LLC, Olivon Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Olivon USA, LLC, and Ningbo Sunny Electronic Co., Ltd.

Most of the consumer telescopes imported into the US are made by Synta and Ningbo Sunny. The complaint alleges, “Instead of competing, Synta and Sunny agreed which products their companies will produce and what prices to charge for such products. They have used their unlawful cooperation and dominance over telescope supply to enable their subsidiaries to take over the United States distribution market.”

The companies and their co-conspirators “operated their businesses as a conglomerate[,]” the complaint asserts, so that they would all benefit.

In one striking example, the companies helped Celestron acquire its competitor Meade Instrument Corp. When the acquisition was first proposed, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) blocked it. Celestron then turned around and helped Ningbo Sunny acquire Meade. Ningbo Sunny told the FTC that Celestron was not involved, then gave Celestron and Synta access to Meade’s intellectual property and manufacturing techniques and made sure that Meade stopped competing with Celestron.

According to the complaint, the companies engaged in a number of anticompetitive actions:

  • They fixed the prices of telescopes.
  • They divided the market among themselves.
  • They helped Ningbo Sunny acquire Celestron’s competitor Meade.
  • They shared nonpublic information about Meade’s intellectual property, business plans, and product pricing.
  • They share nonpublic, sensitive information about competitors’ businesses, including intellectual property, business plans, and product pricing with their co-conspirators.
  • They aided and abetted their co-conspirators’ coordinated action to hold on to their power.

Because of the price fixing and other noncompetitive actions, the complaint alleges that buyers of consumer telescopes “have been illegally overcharged hundreds of millions of dollars … since at least 2005.”

Both of the classes for this action, the Nationwide Injunctive Class and the Damages Class, have the same definition: All persons living in the US, who, between January 1, 2005 through the present, indirectly bought, for their own use and not for resale, a telescope made or sold by the defendants or co-conspirators or any of their current or former affiliates.

The Indirect Purchaser States are Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Article Type: Lawsuit
Topic: Antitrust

Most Recent Case Event

Synta, Ningbo Sunny Consumer Telescope Antitrust Complaint

August 4, 2020

This is one of a number of antitrust class actions brought against makers and distributors of consumer telescopes in the US, Canada, Taiwan, and China. The complaint for this class action alleges that two companies were affiliates of each other rather than competitors, and that these companies, along with a number of others, colluded to fix prices, allocate products, and engage in other anticompetitive actions.

Synta, Ningbo Sunny Consumer Telescope Antitrust Complaint

Case Event History

Synta, Ningbo Sunny Consumer Telescope Antitrust Complaint

August 4, 2020

This is one of a number of antitrust class actions brought against makers and distributors of consumer telescopes in the US, Canada, Taiwan, and China. The complaint for this class action alleges that two companies were affiliates of each other rather than competitors, and that these companies, along with a number of others, colluded to fix prices, allocate products, and engage in other anticompetitive actions.

Synta, Ningbo Sunny Consumer Telescope Antitrust Complaint
Tags: Allocation of Customers Territories or the Like, Antitrust, Collusion and Price Fixing, Unfair Competition