TRENTON, N.J. -- The Private Label Brokers Group and seven independent broker companies have filed an appeal of a ruling made in late October that held the in-house broker arrangement between Wakefern Food Corp., Elizabeth, N.J., and a Texas-based broker did not violate the Robinson-Patman Act.
Texas, is a violation of the Robinson-Patman Act and gives MMI an unfair competitive advantage by tortiously interfering with economic relationships between locally based brokers and the suppliers they represent.
Under the concept of "tortious interference," the brokers will argue that Wakefern interfered with existing agreements between certain brokers and private-label vendors when it asked those vendors to terminate their relationships with the brokers.
The Private Label Brokers Group is an association based in Matewan, N.J., that was formed for the purpose of instituting the original lawsuit by nine brokers who represent approximately 40 private-label food suppliers conducting business with Wakefern in the New York-New Jersey area.
The brokers included in the appeal are A&D Sales Associates; Entress Co.; Herb Greenberg & Sons; Moran Marketing; Reuben Lapidus/Julius Levy & Co./Freedman Co.; Pavlak Marketing; and Slattery Marketing.
Two other brokerages who were involved in the original suit -- C&H Sales and Chadlin Marketing -- chose not to participate in the appeal, attorneys told SN.