Bratz Maker Files Antitrust Suit Claiming Mattel Had a ‘Litigate MGA to Death’ Strategy
Posted Feb 4, 2011 8:00 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
Bratz doll maker MGA Entertainment has filed a new legal volley in the doll wars with a $3 billion antitrust lawsuit claiming Mattel, the Barbie doll company, engaged in anti-competitive practices with strategies to “kill Bratz” and “litigate MGA to death.”
The suit was filed Thursday in Los Angeles federal court during the retrial of Mattel’s infringement and contractual rights claims against MGA, CNBC.com reports. Mattel asserts the Bratz doll’s designer came up with the concept before he left Mattel for MGA.
MGA claims in the new suit that Mattel priced its products below cost to block Bratz’s market access, according the CNBC.com account. MGA also says Mattel rearranged doll displays at key retailers to put Bratz at a disadvantage and used sham identification to get early previews of Bratz products.
According to the suit, Mattel’s “kill Bratz” strategy used self-titled tactics such as Operation Cast Doubt on Bratz, Defcon 1 Alert, and Litigate MGA to Death. The suit says Mattel has spent more than $270 million in litigation costs, and seeks $1 billion in damages before trebling for antitrust violations.
Mattel's outside legal counsel Mike gave CNBC this statement about the new suit: "These same arguments have been repeatedly rejected by the court. This is nothing more than an end run against these prior decisions."