HAMBURG -- Volkswagen Group rejected claims it had engaged in anti-competitive behavior after parts supplier Prevent Group sued the German automaker in the U.S. District Court in Detroit.
The lawsuit said that Volkswagen had extracted written agreements from suppliers not to sell to Prevent, which amounted to anti-competitive behavior.
"This suit is completely unfounded. We will vigorously contest it using all the judicial procedures available to us," VW said, adding that Prevent had disrupted production by halting deliveries in Germany in 2016 and 2018.
Prevent said it a statement it was seeking damages in excess of $750 million, alleging VW used its market power to squeeze smaller suppliers who had to comply with "unfair terms and prices" or face bankruptcy.
In 2016, Volkswagen and two of its suppliers, one which was part of Prevent, resolved a contract dispute that had hit output at six of VW's 10 German factories that built Golfs, Passats, engines, transmissions and chassis units. The stoppages idled nearly 28,000 VW workers and a number of other workers at other supplier plants.
Prevent Group, a Sarajevo-based company, is controlled by Nijaz Hastor, one of Bosnia's richest men.