U.S. Supreme Court Refuses
to Hear Brunswick Case Antitrust Appeal

6 Nov 2000

RBBI Comment: The Eastern District Federal District Court in Little Rock Arkansas found Brunswick guilty in this antitrust case and fined them $133 million. The United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis overturned the verdict. The Independent Builders then took their case to the U.S. Supreme court which has now upheld the appeals court ruling (in Brunswick's favor) by refusing to rehear the case.

Brunswick simultaineously announced that it has terminated its letter of intent and discussions with K2 Inc. concerning the sale of Brunswick's outdoor products businesses (Zebco fishing equipment, MotorGuide trolling motors, Swivl-Eze marine accessories, Igloo coolers and Hoppe's hunting sports accessories). The parties previously announced the letter of intent for the sale of these businesses on Oct. 13, 2000.

Brunswick Press Release 6 Nov 2000

Brunswick's Favorable Decision in Antitrust Appeal
Upheld By U.S. Supreme Court

LAKE FOREST, Ill., Nov. 6 Brunswick Corporation announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court, acting without comment, denied review of an appeals court ruling reversing a trial court's $133 million judgment against Brunswick in an antitrust case. The suit was brought by a group of boat builders and its buying cooperative and was originally tried in Little Rock, Ark., in June 1998.

Brunswick appealed the trial court's judgment and in March 2000, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis ordered the trial court to enter judgment for Brunswick after reviewing the lower court ruling. In their suit, the boat builders alleged that Brunswick had violated various provisions of the antitrust laws in connection with its sales of Mercury MerCruiser sterndrive and inboard engines.

"We are very pleased to finally have this litigation behind us and feel vindicated by this action," said George W. Buckley, Brunswick's chairman and chief executive officer. "From the day the suit was filed five years ago, we have asserted that it was without merit and that our business practices were legal. The ruling of the appeals court and now the action of the Supreme Court support that conclusion.

"With the issue now put to rest, we can fully focus our attention and resources on serving our customers with the quality products and services they've come to expect from Mercury Marine and all of our businesses at Brunswick," Buckley added.

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