Monthly Archives: May 2020

Franchisee Lawyer’s Failure to Oppose Preliminary Injunction Motion Results in Imposition of Post-Termination Restrictive Covenant

May 15, 2020 - Franchise Articles by |

Franchisee Lawyer’s Failure to Oppose Preliminary Injunction Motion Results in Imposition of Post-Termination Restrictive Covenant By: Jeffrey M. Goldstein As if the plight of franchisees and dealers in contested litigation were not challenging enough, a recent case from the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina arguably makes that predicament more formidable. Maaco Franchisor SPV, LLC v. Sadwick, No. 3:20-CV-147, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81391 (W.D.N.C. May 7, 2020). Most damaging to franchisees and dealers is that because the franchisee in Maaco failed to file an opposition to the franchisor’s motion for a preliminary injunction to shut down the franchisee’s business after a challenged termination, the federal court judge decided the injunction request without any opposition evidence or argument from the franchisee. Specifically, the ruling in this case, rather than being based on the rigorous argument and evidence from both sides, ultimately relied upon several quasi-theoretical factoids prepared by the franchisor’s counsel that normally are found in the pro-franchisor ether of restrictive covenant jurisprudence. These types of mutated factual myths, each time they are raised by litigants and then incorporated as ‘valid’ in a court order, further erode the economic realities underlying both the formation of franchise and dealership agreements as well as the restrictions on competition and competitors following the termination or expiration of such agreements. In this regard, the perpetuation by litigants and courts that “the franchisee deserves to be restrained by the preliminary injunction because the franchisee ‘brought it upon himself by acting […]

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Rent-to-own operators Aaron’s Inc., Buddy’s Newco, LLC, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. settle Antitrust Charges with FTC

May 13, 2020 - Blog by |

Rent-to-own operators Aaron’s Inc., Buddy’s Newco, LLC, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that they negotiated and executed reciprocal purchase agreements in violation of federal antitrust law. Rent-to-own operators Aaron’s Inc., Buddy’s Newco, LLC, and Rent-A-Center, Inc. agreed to settle FTC charges that they negotiated and executed reciprocal purchase agreements in violation of federal antitrust law. The complaints allege that from June 2015 to May 2018, Aaron’s, Buddy’s, and Rent-A-Center each entered into anticompetitive reciprocal agreements with each other and other competitors. The three proposed consent agreements prohibited the rent-to-own companies and their franchisees from entering into any reciprocal purchase agreement or inviting others to do so, and from enforcing the non-compete clauses still in effect from the past reciprocal purchase agreements. After a public comment period, the Commission announced the final consent agreements. DISSENTING STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER ROHIT CHOPRA Office of Commissioner Rohit Chopra UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Federal Trade Commission WASHINGTON, D.C. 20580     In the Matter of Rent-to-Own Market Allocation Scheme Commission File No. 1910074 February 21, 2020   Summary   The FTC uncovered evidence that three major rent-to-own players engaged in a market allocation scheme to close down stores that suppressed competition, but the agency is not asserting that this conduct was per se The proposed settlement deprives affected families of direct notification by the companies of their wrongdoing. This goes against a core element of competitive markets: the dissemination of truthful There is clear evidence that a senior executive served on the board […]

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