DETROIT Feb 14 Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co
has moved to end its global alliance with Sumitomo Rubber
Industries Ltd, citing the Japanese tire maker's
Goodyear said on Thursday that it began arbitration
proceedings last month to end the alliance, as well as seeking
damages and other relief. Goodyear did not provide details on
what actions by Sumitomo led to Goodyear's decision.
"We have learned that (Sumitomo Rubber Industries) has
engaged in anticompetitive conduct in violation of applicable
antitrust laws," Goodyear Chief Financial Officer Laura Thompson
said during a Thursday conference call with analysts. "We
concluded that warrants the dissolution of this global
The company said in its annual 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission that it was difficult to
predict the timing or outcome of the proceedings.
Goodyear owns 75 percent and Sumitomo the rest of the
ventures that make and sell tires in both North America and
Europe. In Japan, Sumitomo owns 75 percent and Goodyear the rest
of the venture there.
The companies, which own stock in each other, also share
ownership of a company that disseminates tire technology as well
as a global purchasing company.
The alliance was formed in 1999.
Sumitomo acknowledged that Goodyear has moved to end the
alliance but said "there are differences in views between
Goodyear and our company.
"We are extremely disappointed and we absolutely cannot
overlook this," Sumitomo said in a statement. "Due to the duty
of confidentiality, we cannot comment in detail on the content
of their accounts, but we will respond earnestly to resolve this
Goodyear said in the SEC filing that on January 10 it filed
an arbitration appeal with the Paris-based International Chamber
of Commerce to end the alliance.