PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marsha Kramarck,
General Phone: (302) 577-5180
Date: September 6, 2002
ATTORNEY GENERAL RESOLVES ANTITRUST LAWSUIT AGAINST SALTON, INC.
Makers of the George ForemanT contact grills agrees to pay $8.2 million to states (Wilmington, DE): Attorney General M. Jane Brady today announced the settlement of an $8.2 million nationwide settlement with houseware manufacturer Salton, Inc., which resolves an antitrust lawsuit filed today by New York, 43 other states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. The lawsuit, the result of a two-year investigation, alleges that Salton coerced retailers into fixing the price for its George ForemanT contact grills, and into excluding Salton's competitors from their shelves. Salton's George ForemanT contact grills are popular grills that cook food on both sides simultaneously, much like a waffle iron. Under the policies challenged by the Attorneys General, when retailers sold at a discount or stocked a competitor's product, Salton suspended the retailer until it conformed to Salton's policies. Attorney General Brady stated, "The settlement with Salton provides a fair recovery, secures immediate relief against serious antitrust violations and sends an important message that the States will not tolerate tactics of the sort that Salton used to maintain high retail prices and increase profit margins." Under the settlement, Salton will pay $8 million in damages, $200,000 in investigative expenses, and notice costs. Salton will also agree to a court-order that prevents it from engaging in similar anti-competitive conduct in the future. The damage amount is subject to adjustment depending on the number of states signing on to the settlement. Because of the difficulty and expense of identifying the many individual consumers and returning funds to them, the settlement agreement provides that the restitution funds be distributed to charitable entities and/or government agencies for initiatives to improve health care and nutrition in ways that benefit, as a group, the purchasers of the grills. Specific information about the distribution will be made available in March 2004, when Salton will complete its payments. ###