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SAN JOSE, California: California-based Orion Telescopes and Binoculars has filed legal proceedings to address alleged price fixing and collusion by Chinese telescope manufacturer Ningbo Sunny, affiliate of publicly-traded Sunny Optical Technology (Group) Company Limited (SNPTF:USOTC), and its wholly-owned subsidiary Meade Instruments. Read Full Press Release
Why did Orion file this lawsuit?
As set forth in its Complaint, Orion Telescopes & Binoculars filed the suit to protect U.S. consumers and Orion from a Chinese manufacturer's violation of U.S. antitrust laws.
What does Orion allege in the lawsuit?
Orion asserts that Chinese manufacturer Ningbo Sunny and its wholly-owned subsidiary Meade Instruments colluded with another Chinese manufacturer to fix prices and engage in retaliatory trade aimed at eliminating U.S.-based competition in the telescope market.
I thought Meade was a U.S. company?
It used to be, but was acquired in 2014 by Ningbo Sunny, a division of a Chinese public company, Sunny Optical Technology (Group) Company Limited (SNPTF:USOTC). This is very much David vs. Goliath.
Who are the Defendants?
Chinese telescope manufacturer Ningbo Sunny, affiliate of publicly-traded Sunny Optical Technology (Group) Company Limited (SNPTF:USOTC), and its wholly-owned subsidiary Meade Instruments.
How are Ningbo Sunny and Meade hurting U.S. consumers?
The suit claims that Ningbo Sunny has made an unlawful agreement with the only other viable telescope manufacturer not to compete with one another. Because there is no competition, these companies, aided and abetted by their U.S. subsidiaries, are able to charge more for their products than they could if there was real competition. They also are limiting the options available to the market.
Why is this lawsuit important?
As alleged in the Complaint, Defendants are illegally harming the ability of independent U.S. brands to fairly compete. Their conduct is part of larger and disturbing trend. Foreign manufacturers, particularly those in China, have begun to hijack American brands, while breaking US and EU antitrust laws established to preserve competition.
How does Orion believe that Defendants' illegal activity is part of a larger international trade dispute?
Chinese manufacturers have learned that it is good to dominate both sides of commerce: both the supply of goods and their sale to consumers. Here, we have an even more egregious set of facts because separate manufacturers also colluded with each other to set prices and retaliate against Orion. This kind of thing is happening more and more, where Chinese manufacturers are integrating their businesses and using that to disregard U.S. trade and antitrust laws to the detriment of US consumers, companies and employees.
What is Orion requesting from the Federal Court?
Orion's recent court filings seek to compel Ningbo Sunny and Meade to turn over critical documents regarding their collusion with third parties. Ultimately, Orion seeks monetary damages and a Court Order requiring Defendants to comply with U.S. law.
What proof does Orion have to support its claims against the Defendant?
Orion has produced documentary evidence including first-hand accounts, emails, court filings and court cases that supports its Complaint.
What has Orion learned in the limited discovery that Defendants have not withheld?
The Complaint details additional documentary evidence of the alleged collusion. For example, Ningbo Sunny arranged for the purchase of Meade with the other Chinese Manufacturer before the bidding process even began.
How does what Orion alleges harm the astronomy industry?
The illegal activity documented in Orion's Complaint has led to reduced competition, higher retail and wholesale pricing, reduced product choices, reduced innovation, reduced channel profitability, and job losses at the retail and wholesale level.
How was Orion harmed by the Defendant's illegal activity?
Orion's economic value and future growth prospects were severely impacted by the illegal activities of the Defendants.
Why did Orion choose to fight?
Orion is a 100% American-owned, California-based and Employee-owned Company. Defendant's actions were viewed as an existential threat to Orion and could not be ignored.
What are the next steps in the lawsuit?
Orion has filed an Amended Complaint in Federal Court.
What judgement is Orion seeking from the Court?
Orion's complaint seeks over $5 million in compensatory damages, treble and punitive damages of at least $15 million, injunction against further anti-competitive conduct, divestiture of assets defendants illegally obtained, and attorney's fees and costs.
Who is Orion's attorney?
Orion's counsel are J. Noah Hagey and Matthew Borden of BraunHagey & Borden LLP, a San Francisco and New York litigation boutique that specializes in complex commercial litigation.
Who should I contact if I think I have relevant information re Orion's lawsuit?
Contact Noah Hagey or Matthew Borden at firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I track the progress of this case?
Check back at this page. Orion will post relevant updates as they become available.
Where can I read the Amended Complaint?
The Amended Complaint, along with Exhibit 1 to the Amended Complaint, can be read here: