Plaintiff State and D.A. challenged alleged agreement not to advertise by four Toyota dealers. Complaint alleged that through Jan. 2, 1999, the four dealerships advertised the prices for new vehicles in local newspapers and on local radio and television. Beginning Jan. 3, 1999, the defendants agreed to cease such advertising, the complaint alleges.
The dealerships continued to honor the alleged agreement, according to the complaint, even though the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office notified the defendants in January 2000 they were violating antitrust laws. Sales personnel routinely told inquiring customers about the agreement, according to the complaint
The suit alleges the defendants’ unlawful actions have had the effect of “fixing and stabilizing prices, increasing the defendants’ average profit per vehicle, reducing, suppressing and restraining competition generally in the sales of new Toyota vehicles, eliminating or diminishing effective competition for new Toyota sales, and depriving customers of their right to obtain such (vehicles) at competitively determined prices.”