FAIRFIELD, CA – Copart Inc., an online vehicle remarketing company, said it filed an antitrust lawsuit on July 14, alleging that Auto Auction Services Corporation (AASC), is "restraining competition and stifling innovation" by denying Copart access to the AutoIMS., according to www.rttnews.com.
The Fairfield, Calif.-based company said that the AutoIMS is an electronic vehicle inventory management system used by vehicle sellers such as banks, finance companies, and fleet operators to assign vehicles to auction companies across the United States using a single system and interface. According to Copart, a vehicle remarketing company like Copart must have access to AutoIMS in order to receive and accept assignments of vehicles for resale from banks, finance companies, and fleet operators.
Copart alleged in the suit that its efforts to offer innovative online technology to the market are being thwarted by the refusal of AASC to allow Copart access to AutoIMS on fair and nondiscriminatory terms. Copart alleges that AASC has asked Copart to pay discriminatory access fees, including an initiation fee of $50,000 per location. Copart said this fee would exceed $6.5 million, which is a discriminatory demand as it is equal to denying access altogether.