Billionaire megadealer Norman Braman has settled his two-tier pricing lawsuit against General Motors.
Settlement terms were unavailable. A brief document filed in federal court in South Florida noted that all disputes between Braman and GM are settled. The parties agreed not to file the settlement agreement itself.
The end of the lawsuit will dash many dealers' hopes for a precedent-setting legal blow against factories' dealership renovation programs. Dealers and dealer associations around the country were closely watching the lawsuit. Some had offered support and financial resources.
Mike Charapp, Braman's outside counsel on the lawsuit, declined to comment. A call to Braman's general counsel wasn't immediately returned. A GM spokeswoman said the company has no comment.
Braman's lawsuit, filed in January 2012 and scheduled for trial in February 2014, had emerged as a likely test case on the legality of automakers' dealership renovation programs that pay volume-based bonuses to participating dealerships.
Braman said GM wrongly cut off bonus payments to his Miami Cadillac store in 2011 after the parties reached an impasse on store renovations. He said GM's pulling his bonus payments, while continuing to make payments to other Cadillac dealerships, resulted in two-tier pricing in violation of the federal Robinson-Patman Act, which bans companies from engaging in price discrimination.