AKRON—Goodyear is seeking to dissolve its 15-year-old global business alliance with Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd. and has asked the International Chamber of Commerce to arbitrate the dissolution.
Laura Thompson, Goodyear's executive vice president and CFO, said the Akron-based tire maker approached the ICC on Jan. 10 to seek arbitration of the action after determining SRI had engaged in "anticompetitive conduct."
She did not elaborate during a conference call Feb. 13 on the circumstances, but such conduct is one of the "exit rights" outlined in Goodyear's financial statements.
Goodyear's action came to light this week after SRI released a statement related to inquiries from the ICC. Sumitomo President Ikuji Ikeda also commented on the matter at a news conference, according to Japanese news reports.
The firms' alliance dates to 1999, when Goodyear acquired 75 percent of SRI's manufacturing and sales assets in Europe and North America, which operate as Goodyear Dunlop Tires Europe B.V. and Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd. The deal includes rights to the Dunlop brand in these markets.
The firms also operate joint ventures in Japan—75-percent owned by SRI—covering sales of the Goodyear and Dunlop brands to the Japanese original equipment and replacement markets, and other ventures covering technology and materials procurement.