"Over at least the past year and a half, Lundy has engaged in a predatory anticompetitive campaign to eliminate competition . . . by among other things entering into exclusive contracts for mass reach, constant messaging, [and] saturation advertising that are designed to exclude its competitors," Pitt said in its filing.
A major advertiser in its own right, Pitt accuses Lundy of seeking to lock up advertising space not only on SEPTA buses but also on buses serving the Reading and Wilmington areas, as well during drive time on KYW radio and at the Wells Fargo Center.
In its filings, Lundy has characterized Pitt's complaints of antitrust violations as baseless and argued that the firm has ample opportunities to seek advertising outlets other than SEPTA.
"Indeed, Pitt appears to be using this lawsuit to avoid competition," the Lundy firm said in a filing before Judge Cynthia Rufe asking that the suit be dismissed. "Pitt wants to enjoin Lundy from entering into advertising contracts providing limited exclusive rights because Pitt does not want to pay for such rights."
Both firms occupy a small but unique space in the Philadelphia legal economy: They focus on personal-injury lawsuits and Social Security and workers-compensation claims.
As the large corporate firms rely on marketing staffs and intensive networking, smaller personal-injury and workers-compensation firms seek clients through a plethora of advertising platforms ranging from SEPTA buses to radio ads and highway billboards. Indeed, while Pitt argues that it has been improperly locked out of advertising on SEPTA buses, it advertises on SEPTA trains and in stations.
Lundy can respond with an additional filing. Then Rufe has the option of ordering oral arguments on whether the case can be dismissed or of making a decision based on the filings alone.