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Brunswick Corporation

The Brunswick Corporation is a comglomerate of "recreation" companies, and in 1996 it became the owner of Boston Whaler. That acquisition was part of an expansion by the company into vertical integration of their products and markets. Instead of just being an engine maker, Brunswick began to add boat building companies to their corporate collection, giving them a downstream market for their Mercury engines.

As a result of the acquisition of a large number of boat building companies, Brunswick became embroiled in a huge legal battle with 24 other boat builders. In 1995 these other companies filed a lawsuit against Brusnwick in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas alleging them with liability for damages caused by illegal and anticompetitive business practices in the stern drive engine market.

The story of this dispute is an interesting one but also a bit complicated. The arguments between Brunswick and the other boat builders resulted in weeks of trial, dozens of witnesses, hundreds of motions, millions in legal fees, and potentially billions in damage awards. The five year long saga is carefully told in this two part article:

  1. The Trial
  2. The Appeal


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Copyright © 2001 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!

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