Columbia and OutDry file complaint against Gore, FTC issues subpoena
On Monday, June 13, Columbia Sportswear Company announced that the company and its Italian subsidiary, OutDry Technologies S.r.l., have filed a complaint with the Commission of the European Union against W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., alleging that W. L. Gore & Associates has violated European Union competition laws by abusing its dominant position in the market for waterproof breathable membranes for footwear and gloves.
Columbia and OutDry Technologies also welcomed the recent public news that the United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a subpoena to W. L. Gore in connection with its own investigation into whether Gore has “engaged in unfair methods of competition ‘by contracts, exclusionary practices, or other conduct related to waterproof or waterproof and breathable membranes or technologies and related products.’”
“Columbia and OutDry Technologies have long been concerned that W. L. Gore & Associates’ commercial practices systematically prevent consumers, brand owners and manufacturers from gaining access to competing product innovations in waterproof breathable footwear and gloves. We believe W. L. Gore’s exclusionary conduct has deprived outdoor enthusiasts across the European Union, the United States and other regions throughout the world from learning about, experiencing and benefiting from new and innovative products,” said Peter Bragdon, Columbia’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs.
Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia now sells products in more than 100 countries. In addition to the Columbia brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear, Sorel, and Montrail.