Columbia Sportswear Company (NASDAQ:COLM), a leading innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment industries, today announced that the Company and its Italian subsidiary, OutDry Technologies S.r.l., have filed a complaint with the Commission of the European Union against W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc., alleging that W. L. Gore & Associates has violated European Union competition laws by abusing its dominant position in the market for waterproof breathable membranes for footwear and gloves.
Columbia and OutDry Technologies also welcomed the recent public news that the United States Federal Trade Commission has issued a subpoena to W. L. Gore in connection with its own investigation 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. 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,” said Peter Bragdon, Columbia’s Senior Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs.
About Columbia Sportswear Company
Columbia Sportswear Company is a leading innovator in the global outdoor apparel, footwear, accessories and equipment markets. Founded in 1938 in Portland, Oregon, Columbia products are sold in more than 100 countries and have earned an international reputation for innovation, quality and performance. Columbia products feature innovative technologies and designs that protect outdoor enthusiasts from the elements, increase comfort, and make outdoor activities more enjoyable. In addition to the Columbia® brand, Columbia Sportswear Company also owns outdoor brands Mountain Hardwear®, Sorel®, and Montrail®. To learn more, please visit the company's websites at www.columbia.com, www.mountainhardwear.com, www.sorel.com, and www.montrail.com.
About OutDry Technologies:
With a great passion for innovation in membrane lamination technology, OutDry is dedicated to making products dryer, lighter and more comfortable for all outdoor enthusiasts. The company is based in the North of Italy with an operations branch in China. OutDry was acquired by Columbia Sportswear Company in September 2010. For more information, visit www.outdry.com.
Columbia Sportswear Public Relations
Scott Trepanier, 503-985-4183
Columbia Sportswear Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Ron Parham, 503-985-4584