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Savant’s Antitrust Suit vs. Crestron Advances

Osterville, Mass. –


won another legal round in pursuing its federal antitrust lawsuit against
fellow home-automation supplier Crestron when a federal judge denied a second
motion to dismiss the suit, Savant said.

 The May 19 decision
by a judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts was the
second time that the court denied a motion by Crestron to dismiss the suit, Savant
said.  Crestron must now file a
“substantive response” to Savant’s complaint, after which the case will proceed
to formal discovery, Savant said.

 Last September,
Savant announced it

the suit

against its larger competitor in the large home- and
commercial-automation rival, charging Crestron with illegally stifling
competition by “threatening or financially disincentivizing dealers who
offer or express an interest in offering Savant products.”  Savant began offering its first products,
based on Apple’s OS, in mid 2008.

  Savant has claimed that Crestron “has unlawfully
sought to exclude Savant from the network of dealers who purchase programmable
controllers for residential and commercial automation, particularly high-end
home automation, from manufacturers like Crestron and Savant for resale to
installers and end users in the market.”

  The alleged illegal conduct
“included entering into exclusionary agreements with dealers which
preclude them from offering Savant’s products, as well as threatening, or cutting
financial incentives for dealers who offer or express an interest in offering
Savant products,” Savant said last September. These activities, Savant
alleged, are “calculated to restrain competition from Savant by precluding
its access to the dealer network and to protect Crestron’s monopoly position in
the market.”

 The suit also alleges that Crestron “has
repeatedly published knowingly false statements about Savant and its products,
all with the intent to unfairly compete with Savant.”