Investigation and pending class action lawsuit against Starbucks Corporation, claiming Starbucks engages in a range of anti-competitive activities aimed at eliminating competition.
The class action complaint states that Starbucks has exploited its monopoly power in the specialty coffee retail market to stifle competition through a series of predatory practices including exclusive lease agreements, "cluster bombing" of stores and competitor buy-outs. The class action complaint cites a number of predatory tactics used by Starbucks, including reports in which Starbucks locks out competition through a series of exclusive lease agreements with property managers of Class A high-rises, preventing other specialty coffee shops from operating in the same building. The class action complaint also states that Starbucks offers to buy out competitors at below-market prices, and threatens to open stores nearby if the offer is rejected.
The suit is asking the court to end what it claims are anti-competitive activities and seeks to represent coffee shop owners who seek to occupy retail space in commercial office buildings in Seattle or Bellevue.
Name (Stock Symbol)
Starbucks Corporation (SBUX)
Starbucks Corporation owns and operates retail coffee houses.
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