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Meade files for Bankruptcy after losing antitrust case

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#1 MikeBY

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 04:07 PM

Just saw this news posted in the OC Register about an hour ago. Don't know what this will mean for the company in the future or if Orion might end up with them. 

 

http://www.ocregiste...-antitrust-case

 


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#2 SonnyE

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 04:24 PM

Huh, this caught my eye:

"According to Law360, a California federal jury on Nov. 26 awarded Orion $16.8 million after it found that Ningbo Sunny, through Meade, was fixing telescope prices for American consumers with a manufacturing monopoly created after it bought Meade."

 

Reason being, I'm shopping for a new mount. I see where the one I'm most interested in is the same price everywhere.

Now I understand Fair Trade, where something is the same price everywhere. Levi Strauss used to do that.

But mounts? (Has nothing to do with Ningbo Sunny, different manufacturer.)

 

Makes me wonder if the price fixing is a trend?


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#3 nicoyenny

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 04:45 PM

They were going downhill for quite some time ....

Time to go piranha on the remaining stock? (just asking...)



#4 CrazyPanda

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:06 PM


Reason being, I'm shopping for a new mount. I see where the one I'm most interested in is the same price everywhere.

Is that the same thing though? That would involve retailers, not the manufacturer. It's common for gear to the same basic price across many different retailers.

The price fixing would have to be at the manufacturing level, which begs the question, what other brands was Ningbo Sunny colluding with the price fix on?


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#5 MikeBY

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:18 PM

Huh, this caught my eye:

"According to Law360, a California federal jury on Nov. 26 awarded Orion $16.8 million after it found that Ningbo Sunny, through Meade, was fixing telescope prices for American consumers with a manufacturing monopoly created after it bought Meade."

 

Reason being, I'm shopping for a new mount. I see where the one I'm most interested in is the same price everywhere.

Now I understand Fair Trade, where something is the same price everywhere. Levi Strauss used to do that.

But mounts? (Has nothing to do with Ningbo Sunny, different manufacturer.)

 

Makes me wonder if the price fixing is a trend?

Apparently from the brief news article prior to Sunny's purchase of Meade, Orion had been buying some parts, and afterwards those parts were no longer available to them. What else, who knows. Orion had tried to buy Meade in the past. Going forward, who knows.


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#6 n2dpsky

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:21 PM

Is that the same thing though? That would involve retailers, not the manufacturer. It's common for gear to the same basic price across many different retailers.

The price fixing would have to be at the manufacturing level, which begs the question, what other brands was Ningbo Sunny colluding with the price fix on?

This may shed some light.

 

https://www.sfchroni...an-13739535.php


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#7 MikeBY

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 05:53 PM

This may shed some light.

 

https://www.sfchroni...an-13739535.php

Indeed it does. 

 

Clear skies.


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#8 Volvonium

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 06:06 PM

I am glad Orion stuck to their legal guns and pursued this claim to the end.  Hopefully Orion is able to at least recover their legal costs and then some during the bankruptcy and that a more ethical business acquires the Meade brand.

 

This should be a big lesson for certain overseas manufacturers to not try and collude to fix prices and stifle competition in the US market.  I've mostly avoided Synta products because I've felt that they do not support fair competition.  Their involvement in this antitrust case is very telling.  What I wonder is how Orion and Synta's relationship will continue after this?

 

I've also found it exceptionally strange that Synta is distributing GSO telescopes (their primary manufacturing competitor) under the Zhumell brand name, with Celestron (A Synta owned company) being the exclusive US distributor that sells the Zhumell brand.  In the past few months, an affordable "DT" line of Apertura dobsonians, that are identical to Orion Skyquest and undercuts Orion's retail pricing, have also popped up.   Perhaps Orion will go back to GSO as their primary manufacturer like they were in the early '00s...or GSO and Synta are in fact colluding to suffocate Orion out of the market.  I feel that the effects of Orion's legal case are far from over. 


Edited by Volvonium, 05 December 2019 - 06:44 PM.

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#9 CrazyPanda

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Posted 05 December 2019 - 10:09 PM

This may shed some light.

 

https://www.sfchroni...an-13739535.php

Makes sense that it was Synta, since they're the only other dominant player in the market that supplies Orion with its products.



#10 JOQ

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 12:19 AM

Meade was bought to dominate the mid to low end. Celestron and Meade actually became one. 



#11 Bob Gillette

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 05:50 PM

It's a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which may be bad news for creditors but usually signals an intention to stay in business.


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#12 Blackbelt76

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 06:56 PM

Wish I knew this before I purchased a LX 90 which is now back at Meade for repair.

 

Below is a email I just received from them.

I find it unacceptable to wait 2 months for a repair..and they are shipping it to Mexico for repair? No techs in CA I guess.

Will also post this as a separate topic; more of a warning to anyone who is considering a Meade.

T

Thank you for your email.

 

Regarding the turnaround time for  the repair of your telescope – the factory will not be able to meet a Dec. 20th deadline. The scope was received yesterday  and so the next step would be to ship it down to the factory in Mexico. We don’t have a truck scheduled for pick-up of products until sometime next week. That puts the date you want the telescope back to less than a week – the turnaround time is just too tight – we have to factor in the time needed for repair (varies but usually is between 4 -8 weeks depending on the existing workload) and time spent waiting for a return truck from the factory to the Irvine corporate location (trucks aren’t always scheduled every week – the factory waits until there is enough product to justify a return trip).

 

At this point I would say the earliest the scope might be ready would be 5 – 6  weeks from when it is delivered to the factory. If the truck picks it up next week then 5-6 weeks starting from next week.

 

Thank you!

 

Chuck Word

 

Customer Service support

cid:image001.png@01CFFD91.8F6E9CF0

Phone (949) 451-6232 ext. 6231

www.meade.com

 


Edited by Blackbelt76, 06 December 2019 - 06:56 PM.

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#13 M57Guy

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Posted 06 December 2019 - 09:28 PM

Just saw this news posted in the OC Register about an hour ago. Don't know what this will mean for the company in the future or if Orion might end up with them. 
 
http://www.ocregiste...-antitrust-case

Bummer.  Thanks for sharing. Please accept this post as appreciation, as I'm not going to 'like' that Meade filed for Chapter 11.
 

Time to go piranha on the remaining stock? (just asking...)

Its bad timing, but I'm thinking the same thing.
 

It's a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which may be bad news for creditors but usually signals an intention to stay in business.

Lets hope you're correct on this. I like Meade's products and I hope they stick around.



#14 n2dpsky

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 01:51 AM

It's a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which may be bad news for creditors but usually signals an intention to stay in business.

The problem is there are limited suppliers in the astronomy field, so you might find it difficult to find people willing to do business with you on a go forward basis if you screw them out of what they're owed.   They seem well insulated to keep liability localized so maybe the parent org will make creditors whole (except for Orion of course).   



#15 Chris Lord

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:20 AM


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN JOSE DIVISION
Case 5:16-cv-06370-EJD Document 338 Filed 09/30/19

This suite also includes Synta. So hopefully during 2020 I can witness the demise of both Meade & Celestron.

And also hopefully direct overseas marketing of Chinese instruments for amateur astronomy. A long overdue development.

Antitrust laws protect the consumer from anti-competitive sharp practice.
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#16 Chris Lord

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 09:21 AM


UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN JOSE DIVISION
Case 5:16-cv-06370-EJD Document 338 Filed 09/30/19

This suite also includes Synta. So hopefully during 2020 I can witness the demise of both Meade & Celestron.

And also hopefully direct overseas marketing of Chinese instruments for amateur astronomy. A long overdue development.

Antitrust laws protect the consumer from anti-competitive sharp practice.

#17 rferrante

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 01:09 PM

Chris,

 

I'm not sure which you are saying, you do or you don't want to deal directly with Synta/Sunny.

 

 

 

--Rob


Edited by rferrante, 07 December 2019 - 10:10 PM.


#18 MikeBY

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Posted 07 December 2019 - 06:57 PM

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
SAN JOSE DIVISION
Case 5:16-cv-06370-EJD Document 338 Filed 09/30/19

This suite also includes Synta. So hopefully during 2020 I can witness the demise of both Meade & Celestron.

And also hopefully direct overseas marketing of Chinese instruments for amateur astronomy. A long overdue development.

Antitrust laws protect the consumer from anti-competitive sharp practice.

Synta settled. 


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#19 Chris Lord

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 02:28 PM

Synta settled? Oh really? When? To whom? For what? What terms?
Reference?

#20 Chris Lord

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 02:28 PM

Synta settled? Oh really? When? To whom? For what? What terms?
Reference?

#21 Chris Lord

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 02:28 PM

Synta settled? Oh really? When? To whom? For what? What terms?
Reference?

#22 Chris Lord

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 02:29 PM

Synta settled? Oh really? When? To whom? For what? What terms? Reference?

#23 n2dpsky

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Posted 08 December 2019 - 06:40 PM

Here is a document that better spells it out, and does state Orion had already settled with Meade's coconspirators.   How else do you think Orion ended up owning two URLs (telescopes.com and binoculars.com) that Celestron owned?  It was clearly part of the settlement.

 

https://www.telescop...d_Complaint.pdf


Edited by n2dpsky, 08 December 2019 - 06:41 PM.

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#24 Chris Lord

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 10:01 AM

Not read your ref yet but I presume Celestron/Synta will be constrained, in the same way Meade will be if the firm survives?

Whatever it's good news. Celestron & Meade have been a malign influence for decades. And I'm not just saying so now. Leo Henzl and me were saying so 40 years ago.

Best news I've had this year.

#25 rferrante

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Posted 09 December 2019 - 12:20 PM

Chris, not trying to engage in an argument here, but what exactly were Meade and Celestron doing 40 years ago that was so malign? I'm genuinely curious.

Looking at it from 20,000 feet, it seems like Meade and Celestron were essential in increasing access to the hobby in that period. I'm willing to be educated though, and agree somewhat with criticism of the modern incarnations.

 

--Rob


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