Bloomberg News

Green Mountain Coffee Blocked Competition, TreeHouse Claims (1)

February 11, 2014

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR:US) was sued over claims the Vermont company monopolized the market for the sale of single-serve brewers and the packages of coffee that go in them.

TreeHouse Foods Inc. (THS:US) sued in federal court in Manhattan today, claiming Green Mountain used its dominance in the brewer market to bar rivals from competing with its “K-Cup” packages of coffee and other hot beverages. TreeHouse said Green Mountain plans to redesign the Keurig brewers to block competitors from supplying lower-cost coffee packs.

“Such an anticompetitive product redesign would force consumers to pay at least 15 percent to 25 percent more for K-Cups, would block consumers from their preferred beverages and would restrain competition,” Oak Brook, Illinois-based TreeHouse said in its complaint.

Coca-Cola Co. (KO:US) last week agreed to buy a 10 percent stake in Green Mountain for about $1.25 billion and to help the company develop a system for producing single-serve cold drinks.

“The suit is totally without merit,” Suzanne DuLong, a spokeswoman for Waterbury, Vermont-based Green Mountain, said in a statement.

Green Mountain rose $8.48, or 7.6 percent, to $119.40 in New York Stock Exchange trading today. Shares have gained 47.6 percent since Feb. 5.

The case is TreeHouse Foods Inc. v. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc., 14-cv-00905, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Van Voris in federal court in Manhattan at rvanvoris@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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Companies Mentioned

  • GMCR
    (Keurig Green Mountain Inc)
    • $133.32 USD
    • -1.13
    • -0.85%
  • THS
    (TreeHouse Foods Inc)
    • $82.52 USD
    • 1.44
    • 1.75%
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