TravelCenters Settles Long-Running Antitrust Case
WESTLAKE, Ohio -- TravelCenters of America LLC entered a memorandum of understanding to settle a long-running civil class-action lawsuit, Marchbanks Truck Service Inc., et al. vs. Comdata Network Inc., et al.
As CSNews Online reported in June 2007, Marchbanks filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Pennsylvania. It alleged Comdata and its parent company Ceridian, as well as Pilot Flying J and TravelCenters of America, engaged in fleet card practices that are anticompetitive and favor chains vs. independents. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores was later identified as another defendant.
With TravelCenters of America’s announcement, all defendants in the case have now entered memorandums of understanding. Under the terms of the agreement, the defendants will pay $130 million, including a $10 million settlement from TravelCenters of America.
The settlement has not yet been consummated, and the terms outlined in the memorandum of understanding are subject to the parties concluding a definitive settlement agreement that must be presented to the court for approval.
Despite the proposed settlement, TravelCenters of America does not acknowledge any wrongdoing. "TA determined to enter this settlement in order to avoid the expense and distraction of this continuing litigation, especially because certain other defendants determined to settle separately, which likely would have increased TA’s costs of continuing litigation," the company said in a news release. "TA expects the $10 million settlement will be recorded as a charge to earnings in the [fiscal] fourth quarter of 2013."
Westlake, Ohio-based TravelCenters of America LLC primarily operates and franchises travel centers under the TravelCenters of America, TA, Petro Stopping Centers and Petro brand names. TA also operates convenience stores primarily in Kentucky and Tennessee under the Minit Mart brand name. TA’s business includes locations in 42 U.S. states and Canada.