International Construction Products Llc V. Caterpillar Inc. Et Al

  • Court: Delaware State, Wilmington Division, District Court
  • Case Number: 1:15cv108
  • Filed: January 29, 2015
  • Judges: Richard G. Andrews | Sherry R. Fallon
  • Case Type: Antitrust (410)
  • Cause: Antitrust Litigation

Parties Involved

  • Plaintiff(s): International Construction Products LLC
    • Counsel for Plaintiff: Daniel Alan Mason | Matthew D. Stachel | John W. Shaw | Nathan Roger Hoeschen | Amy J. Mauser | Wells Harrell | James P. Denvir | Jonathan Shaw | William Bloom | Christopher G. Renner | David M. Fry
    • Expert witness for Plaintiff(s): Jeffrey Leitzinger, Ph.D |  Mike Rhoda


  • Defendant(s): Caterpillar Inc.| Komatsu America Corp.
    • Counsel for Defendants: Periann Doko| Peter C. McGivney | David J. Baldwin  | Aaron S. Rabinowitz  | Ashley Eickhof  | Dorothea R. Allocca  | Heather S. Choi  | Jeffrey H. Wood  | Natalie Cardenas  | Paul C. Cuomo  | Carey S. Busen  | Danyll W. Foix  | Gregory J. Commins, Jr.  | Danielle Morello  | Joseph A. Ostoyich  | William C. Lavery  | Robert G. Abrams | Denise Seastone Kraft | Adam I. Steene | Brian A. Biggs | David H. Bamberger | Erin E. Larson | James F. Reardon | Katherine M. Ruffing | Paul Schmitt | Laura D. Hatcher
    • Expert witness for Defendant(s): John Johnson, IV | Dr. Kevin Murphy | James M. Lyons  

Verdict Information

  • Verdict Date: April 16, 2024
  • Total damages awarded to Plaintiff: $100,000,000

About the Case


The case involved an alleged anticompetitive conspiracy among heavy construction equipment manufacturers Caterpillar, Komatsu, and Volvo, along with auction service Cat Auction Services. The manufacturers engaged in a multi-stage plan to eliminate the threat posed by a new entrant, IronPlanet Auction Company (ICP), which sold new construction equipment at low prices through an online marketplace.

The Manufacturer Defendants made rules that their authorized dealers could only sell their brand of new equipment and no other competing brands. This made it very hard for new companies to enter and compete in the heavy equipment market in the United States because they couldn’t access the dealer network to sell their products.

Additionally, these big equipment companies conspired to threaten IronPlanet, the largest online marketplace for buying and selling used heavy construction equipment. They threatened to stop selling their used equipment on IronPlanet if the platform continued working with ICP. ICP aimed to bring lower-priced, high-quality new heavy equipment from foreign manufacturers like China’s Lonking into the U.S. market. ICP planned to sell these foreign products directly to contractors and rental companies through IronPlanet’s online platform, which has a large customer base.

The big equipment companies saw ICP’s business model of selling cheaper foreign equipment online as a major threat. They worried that ICP’s lower prices could take away a lot of their market share and force them to lower their own prices, which were higher than competitive levels. So, they threatened IronPlanet to stop working with ICP to protect their ability to charge high prices in the U.S. market.


The Manufacturer Defendants’ coordinated actions to block ICP’s entry into the market by forcing IronPlanet to breach its contract caused substantial harm to ICP. Their actions significantly damaged ICP’s reputation, goodwill, and standing in the industry, diminishing the overall value of the company as a viable ongoing concern.

ICP suffered substantial financial losses in the form of significant lost profits and revenues. By being denied access to IronPlanet’s efficient online distribution platform and its extensive customer base of end-users like contractors and rental companies, ICP was unable to effectively sell and distribute its lower-priced, high-quality foreign-made heavy construction equipment products in the U.S. market.

Furthermore, the conduct of these major manufacturers deterred and discouraged other foreign companies. These companies were involved in manufacturing heavy construction equipment, materials handling equipment, and agricultural equipment. As a result, they were hesitant to partner with ICP. They were also reluctant to enter into distribution agreements with ICP. This conduct by the incumbents further constrained ICP’s ability to expand its product offerings and potential sales volumes, severely limiting its prospects for successful market entry and growth in the U.S.

The actions of these dominant manufacturers not only directly impacted ICP’s current operations but also created substantial barriers and obstacles that hampered ICP’s future business development plans, sales projections, and long-term viability in the U.S. heavy equipment market. 


As a result, ICP sought compensatory and trebled damages, as well as injunctive relief to prohibit the Manufacturer Defendants from enforcing their exclusive dealing arrangements with equipment dealers. ICP also sought the divestiture of IronPlanet from Cat Auction Services (a Caterpillar affiliate) to restore IronPlanet as an independent distribution channel, and attorney’s fees.

Jury Verdict

The Plaintiff proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that Caterpillar tortiously interfered with ICP’s Hosted Store Agreement with IronPlanet, causing IronPlanet to breach that agreement. Additionally, the Plaintiff proved, by a preponderance of the evidence, that ICP suffered damages as a result of Caterpillar’s tortious interference with the Hosted Store Agreement. The jury determined that the amount of ICP’s damages on its tortious interference claim was  $100,000,000.

Furthermore, the jury rejected ICP’s antitrust claims but sided with the importer on its claim of wrongful interference with the contract and the loss of business it suffered.

Court Documents: Available upon Request