IronPlanet wins lawsuit against Ritchie Bros

By Murray Pollok11 February 2013

Used equipment online auctioneer IronPlanet said it had won a multi-million dollar law suit against rival Ritchie Bros for interfering in a contract it had with contractor Scheckel Construction.

IronPlanet said the Iowa District Court found that Ritchie Bros intentionally interfered with its April 2011 contract with Scheckel and had awarded multi-million dollar damages against Ritchie Bros.

Ritchie Bros said it was disappointed with the verdict but would continue to defend the case “vigorously”.

“We are very pleased with the jury’s decision and their recognition of the strong evidence regarding Ritchie Bros.’ intentions to harm IronPlanet,” said Greg Owens, CEO of IronPlanet, whose owners include Accel Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Caterpillar, Komatsu and Volvo.

He said the case illustrated that Ritchie Bros “was willing to go to great lengths to compete against a business model and company that they view as a threat.”

Peter Blake, CEO of Ritchie Bros, said the final judgement had not been entered “and we are continuing to defend this case vigorously in the district court. We stand by our position that at all times we acted fairly and appropriately with respect to our customers and competitors.”

Ritchie Bros said it would not comment further until the case was fully resolved by the court.

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