MGA Entertainment Inc. filed an antitrust lawsuit Thursday against Mattel Inc., the latest in the two companies’ war over their fashion dolls.
The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles alleges unfair business practices and anticompetitive conduct by El Segundo-based Barbie maker Mattel against Van Nuys-based MGA, manufacturer of the provocative Bratz doll line.
MGA claims Mattel used a "scorched earth strategy" to infiltrate confidential showrooms at industry events to copy new Bratz products, rearrange Bratz and Mattel’s Barbie displays at retailers, intimidate licensees and pay retailers not to buy MGA products. The lawsuit also accuses Mattel Chief Executive Robert Eckert of embracing a “litigate MGA to death” strategy. Mattel has not yet issued a response to the suit.
This latest lawsuit comes as a retrial is underway in Santa Ana after a $100 million federal jury award to Mattel two years was overturned on appeal. The first jury had found that Bratz designer Carter Bryant had developed the concept and sold it to MGA while working for Mattel.
Mattel shares were up 2 cents, or less than a percent, to $25.07 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.
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