LOS ANGELES -- General Motors will walk into a legal minefield if it agrees to purchase the core assets of bankrupt Daewoo Motor Co. without acquiring or compensating the Korean automaker's U.S. dealers, legal experts say.
According to several experts contacted last week, GM could be forced to keep Daewoo's U.S. dealers in business under franchise, antitrust and fraud statutes in several states, even if - as expected - it does not acquire the U.S. sales arm, Daewoo Motor America.
"The (legal) difficulties could come from a dozen different fields," said Richard Craswell, a professor of international law at Stanford University. "There are potential antitrust issues, corporate law issues, contract law issues, franchise law issues and tax issues. Each of those is a minefield of its own."