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Grocery Chain & Supplier Hit With $100M Suit

CLAYTON, Mo. (CN) - Halls Sales and Marketing claims Alliance Foods and Save-A-Lot conspired to steal its business in St. Louis County Court. Halls demands $100 million in punitive damages, saying Alliance and grocery chain Save-A-Lot entered into an agreement to capture the commissions paid by Save-A-Lot's suppliers and intentionally interfere with Halls' suppliers.

As part of the conspiracy, Alliance paid Save-A-Lot a large percentage of the commissions it received from Save-A-Lot suppliers and agreed to hire people to perform services for Save-A-Lot that lowered Save-A-Lot's employee costs, the complaint states.

Halls claims Save-A-Lot then used its power to coerce suppliers to go with Alliance instead of other independent suppliers such as Halls. The conspiracy allegedly violates antitrust law.

Halls is represented by Charles Merz of St. Louis.

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