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Landsman Capitol Sues Sharp Over Pricing Problems

CHICAGO — Landsman Capitol Associates has filed a suit against Sharp Electronics alleging the consumer electronics manufacturer sold products to favorite accounts at lower prices.

Landsman, an independent sales representative firm, filed the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The company claims Sharp’s practices violate the Robinson Patman and Clayton Acts and is seeking damages, punitive charges, costs and attorney fees from Sharp to the tune of several million dollars, said Gerald Newman, Landsman’s attorney.

“The suit alleges that Sharp engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminatory pricing by selling Sharp office products to favored accounts at lower prices than those offered to other non-favored accounts with similar sales activities and customers,” Newman said in a written release.

Landsman Capitol, which has worked with Sharp since 1962, said the primary point of conflict is over Sharp selling and shipping home office products to competitors at lower prices. The brief filed with the court cites instances where Sharp sold products to Staples for 12 percent less than to Boise Cascade, a Landsman client. The company also contends that Sharp offers more favorable shipping schedules to Landsman’s competition.

Sharp was unable to submit a comment in time for this story.