The Walls Are Closing in on John Deere’s Tractor Repair Monopoly

The Walls Are Closing in on John Deere’s Tractor Repair Monopoly
Photo by Julia Koblitz / Unsplash

In November, federal judge Iain Johnston began an 89-page opinion by noting that the John Deere Historic Site, where John Deere the man invented the steel plow in 1837, is less than an hour’s drive from his courthouse. 

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“The takeaway from a visit to this historic site is that John Deere was an innovative farmer and blacksmith who—with his own hands—fundamentally changed the agricultural industry,” Johnston wrote. “This multi-district litigation concerns allegations of non-competitive behavior by Deere & Co., a multi-billion-dollar international corporation. If—and that’s a big if—the claims against Deere & Co. are meritorious, then the Court assumes the man lionized at the historic site would be deeply disappointed in his namesake corporation.”

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In that opinion, Johnston allowed a class action lawsuit against John Deere, which has already been winding its way through the courts for years, to continue forth in what he theorized would be “a long and expensive process.”