Gore-Tex maker, W.L. Gore is currently under investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for anti-trust violations and unfair competitive practices in both Europe and North America.
According to the OutDry Technologies S.r.l.’s complaint with the Commission of the European Union, the outdoor apparel brand has allegedly abused its dominant position in the market for waterproof breathable membranes.
In addition, the United States Federal Trade Commission issued a subpoena to W.L. Gore into whether Gore has “engaged in unfair methods of competition ‘by contracts, exclusionary practices, or other conduct related to waterproof or waterproof and breathable membranes or technologies and related products.'”
“Columbia and OutDry Technologies have long been concerned that W. L. Gore & Associates’ commercial practices systematically prevent consumers, brand owners and manufacturers from gaining access to competing product innovations in waterproof breathable footwear and gloves,” said Peter Bragdon, Columbia’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs in a press release. “We believe W. L. Gore’s exclusionary conduct has deprived outdoor enthusiasts across the European Union, the United States, and other regions throughout the world from learning about, experiencing and benefiting from new and innovative products.”