Econolite denies anti-trust charge

News Econolite April 23, 2004
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The Attorney General of California has filed suit against Econolite Control Products Inc

The Attorney General of California has filed suit against Econolite Control Products Inc., alleging anti-trust violations in its bidding and marketing practices in California. The principal complaint of the Attorney General is that Econolite provided bids for packages of products with a lump-sum price. In the view of the Attorney General, that practice is illegal.

"Econolite has not and does not engage in illegal bidding practices," the company said in a statement released today (April 22). "When bidding its products, Econolite responds to requests from customers exactly as the customer specifies. If the customer requires a lump-sum bid for all of the equipment at a specified intersection, Econolite complies with that request."

Econolite said by insisting that products be unbundled, notwithstanding the requirements of the user, the Attorney General will potentially create a safety hazard for the public.

"Users specify that all of the electronic equipment for an installation be provided by one supplier because they understand that they become responsible for integrating disparate pieces of equipment if they are forced to use equipment from multiple suppliers for one intersection."

In its public pronouncements, the Attorney General charges that manufacturers design their equipment so it will not work with products of competitors. Econolite, however, said until recently each competitor in the industry has been free to develop its own approach to communication, and in making its accusation the Attorney General ignores the laws of California, which mandate that all equipment sold after 1996 will meet a common standard for communication.

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