Price Fixing Alleged In American Mastiffs

      LAS VEGAS (CN) – The American Mastiff Breeders Council conspired to fix prices on puppies and restrict competition, and punished a breeder who objected, the breeder says in a federal antitrust and discrimination claim. Craig Williamson claims the council “colluded to fix American Mastiff puppy prices via email over the worldwide web” and set an artificial “ceiling price” for the breed.

     Williamson, who breeds the dogs at his Circle W Mastiffs kennel in Fallon, Nev., says the council stripped him of his voting privileges, participatory rights and marketing support for objecting to the price-fixing. Then they launched a group boycott against Williamson, he says.
     And, Williamson says, the defendants conspired to prevent new breeders from entering the market by threatening to boycott anyone who resists their price-fixing.
     Among the defendants are Fredericka Wagner and her business, Flying W Farms, who “created” the breed, Williamson says. Williamson says he was placed under “written threat of further sanctions,” including termination from the organization, if he helped another breeder enter the market.
     Williamson said he wrote to the council and asked them to stop the price-fixing and boycotting, then found himself the subject of a civil lawsuit accusing him of selling fake American Mastiffs, even though three of his breeding dogs were purchased from council President Wagner.
     “(The) lawsuit is intended to harass Circle W, and is a further attempt by (council) to make Circle W comply with its anti-competitive business practices,” Williamson claims.
     Here are the defendants: American Mastiff Breeders Council, Bill & Sandy Berger, American Mastiff, Flying W Farms, Connie Hammond, Sycamore Creek Kennels, Cameran Pridmore, Capell Creek Ranch And Kennels, Diane St. Martin, Hidden Acres Farm, Kerry Mikalchus, Lazy M American Mastiffs, Jim & Sandy Taylor, Deepwood Acres American Mastiffs, Tammy Venkler, Mystic American Mastiffs, Fredericka Wagner, Kevin & Melanie Ware, Orion Farms, and Candace Ware.
     Williamson is represented by Martin Crowley.

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